In December 2019, Linda Falter didn’t know what to expect with Cortland County’s changes to recycling, but she said her hauler, Leach’s Custom Trash Removal, provided educational material.
“It’s routine now,” she said, that is unless the county makes more changes.
The county highway department’s division of solid waste took over recycling operations in January 2020, but a loss of its recycling disposal facility — the Taylor Garbage facility in Tioga County at the beginning of January 2020 — the county began trashing some of its recyclables.
The county then contracted with Bert Adams Disposal’s material recycling facility in Binghamton to fill the gap.
However, Adams was able to take recyclables only from the city of Cortland, which he already collects trash for and occasionally some other county loads.
The county also began composting mixed paper and baling cardboard.
But Taylor Garbage expects its facility to be operational by the end of this month and the county is looking to work with the business, said Highway Superintendent Charlie Sudbrink.
“We currently do not have a contract with Taylor recycling. The county is in discussions regarding the fee per ton they will charge,” Sudbrink said. “This is where it becomes critical that we have as clean of a recycling stream as possible. Currently, Mr. Taylor is charging haulers $75 per ton. We anticipate Cortland County’s price per ton will be less because our recycling stream is nearly glass-free.”
However, Sudbrink said getting a lower price will also require the help of residents keeping the recycling stream clean.
“As the county enters into the partnership with Taylor recycling it is important that everyone be mindful of recycling best practices as these small individual steps reduce the cost for everyone involved,” Sudbrink said. “The county plans to renew its education and outreach efforts on recycling in the months ahead.”
However, Lesa Williams, an owner of Cortland Sanitation, said the company has not received any materials on what might be happening with recycling, so it is under the assumption that it will continue as is.
“We will continue to educate our customers as things change by letters sent out or if not done right, a sticker left on the bin telling them what needs to be done,” Williams said. “The county needs to send a mass mailing to reinforce what the haulers have sent out already.”
She said the biggest issue she sees is people leaving lids on items, which can be a safety hazard to the haulers.
How to recycle
Here’s what can be recycled:
- Glass must be separated from other recyclables, cleaned. Discard lids, caps and tops.
- Only plastic containers with lids, caps and tops will be accepted. The container must be cleaned, dried and the lid, cap or top removed.
- Metal containers must be clean and dry. Discard lid, cap or top.
- Mixed paper will be accepted, but hard covers must be removed. It must be clean and dry.
- Shredded paper will be accepted in a bag.
- Cardboard must be flattened, clean and dried. No wax coated or food- or grease-stained boxes.
- E-waste recycling will still be accepted.
For a complete list of what is and isn’t accepted, go to www.cortland-co.org/278/Recycling