4R Times
Fall Newsletter
Volume V | Issue IV
Upcoming Fee Changes
The Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management (TCRMM) is announcing fee changes that will take place beginning January 1st, 2021. The fee changes that will affect all users of the Recycling and Solid Waste Center are included below:
• Trash disposal punch cards, which are used to pay for the disposal of 5 bags or cans of trash, will now cost $15.
• Disposal fees for residents and haulers will increase to $96 per ton. The flat tier rates will remain unchanged at $15 for 0-333 lbs., $30 for 334-666 lbs., and $45 for 667-1000 lbs.
• The cost to recycle televisions and monitors will be lowered from $15 to $10.
The fees set by the County reflect the increased costs of contracted services for garbage and recycling. The lower fee for televisions and monitors is driven by a lower than expected cost for electronics recycling. It should be noted that fees for yard waste and all other fees not previously mentioned will remain at the same levels they were in 2020.

Curbside Rejection 

This Fall, TCRMM implemented a new policy aimed at preventing contamination in the curbside recycling stream. Bins with unacceptable materials will be left at the curb with a red rejection sticker that states why the material was not collected. Recycling set outs can also be rejected for not following the size, weight, and preparation requirements outlined in the Tompkins County Curbside Recycling Guidelines brochure.

The most common items that would result in a rejection sticker are plastic bags and film, Styrofoam, electronics, clothing, scrap metal, wood, and tissues, paper towels, or napkins. For a list of what is and is not accepted in curbside recycling, please refer to the Tompkins County Curbside Recycling Guidelines, available from municipal offices and grocery store service desks and at RecycleTompkins.org.
Understanding the Annual Fee
The Tompkins County Legislature recently voted unanimously to increase the Annual Fee to $70 for 2021. This $10 increase is designed to help offset rising costs for contracted recycling services. The fee partially funds the cost of Tompkins County’s solid waste program, and the resulting revenue is divided between several important purposes. The chart on the right shows how each dollar of an individual household’s annual fee is spent.
Batteries May Be Cause of RSWC Fire
In November, a load of recyclables from the public drop off area began smoking inside the tip floor area of the Recycling and Solid Waste Center. Casella employees at the facility quickly responded with fire extinguishers and water from an adjacent fire hydrant, keeping the fire contained until the Ithaca Fire Department could take over. Thankfully no injuries or damage occurred.
The fire may have been due to batteries being incorrectly placed in single stream recycling. Non-alkaline batteries have the potential to overheat and catch fire, causing other materials in the recycling stream to ignite. Lithium-ion batteries in particular have been known to cause fires at recycling facilities nationwide.
For safety, batteries should never be included in your recycling bin. Alkaline batteries should be placed in a container or bag and added to your trash. For all other batteries, cover the terminal ends in tape, preferably with clear packing tape. Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at many retail locations or at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center. For a list of nearby battery drop-off locations, visit call2recycle.org/locator.

Save Some Green, BYO Bag
Plastic carryout bags have been banned in New York State, but did you know that paper bags can also have a big environmental impact? The best way to save trees, water, and reduce waste overall is to bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store. It’s safe, convenient, and will even save you $.05 per bag compared to paying for single use paper bags. That adds up! Be sure to clean your bags regularly. Cloth bags can go right in the washing machine along with other clothes and linens.
Holiday Recycling Tips
Kitchen caddies and compostable liners for the Food Scraps Recycling Drop Spot program are free for County residents—stop by a drop spot to get yours! Transport containers are also available for $12 from the Recycling and Materials Management office.
Holiday Closings
Christmas Day

Office and RSWC closed December 25th, curbside recycling collection delayed one day.

New Year's Day

Office and RSWC closed January 1st, curbside recycling collection delayed one day.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Office closed January 18th.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Office closed February 15th.

The Find My Recycling Day tool automatically adjusts for holidays.
Sign up today!
Inclement Weather
With winter storms on the way, please
remember to visit recycletompkins.org to check for weather advisories that may impact curbside collection or the facility schedule.

Did You Know...
Gift wrapping and gift bags are
recyclable, but not if they have glitter,
metallic, or foil elements.

Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management
(607) 273-6632 | reducewaste@tompkins-co.org | recycletompkins.org