Help Protect Your Garbage & Recycling Workers from COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) have both issued guidance associated with the Coronavirus and waste management.

Do your best to help protect your local garbage and recycling workers who continue to serve as an essential function in our communities and collect our waste on a weekly basis.

Best Practices

  • Tightly tie all garbage bags shut and place in your garbage tote.
  • Postpone your spring cleaning to keep all of your garbage and recycling contained in their collection totes.

Recycle Right

  • Do not put disposable gloves, masks or tissues in your recycling bin. Dispose of them properly in the trash.
  • Do not recycle medical sharps or syringes. Medical sharps or syringes should be put in a rigid plastic container, clearly labeled “sharps”, sealed tightly and placed in your garbage.
  • Do not bag your recycling. Place your recyclables loose in your curbside recycling tote.

Collection Tote Maintenance

  • Keep lid on your garbage and recycling totes to avoid littering
  • Wipe down your collection totes, especially the handles and lids, once you put them at the curb.
  • If needed, rinse containers. Make sure all containers are empty and dry.

Show your appreciation for your local garbage and recycling workers by leaving a thank you note.

Keep Your Reusable Bag Clean

New York State’s ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect on March 1st, 2020. Reusable bags help us reduce waste and protect our environment. Are you trying out reusable bags but looking for best practices and information on cleaning them? Information is available from the New York State Department of Health.

COVID-19 and Beverage Container Redemption

Recycling operations, including redemption of containers through the bottle bill are considered essential services. However, redemption centers should implement appropriate social distancing practices whenever and wherever possible.

DEC recognizes that unintended consequences of the COVID-19 response may make full compliance with requirements challenging for certain facilities and result in temporary disruptions to required redemption operations.

For more information on COVID-19 and Bottle Bill Beverage Container Redemption.

Composting in the Time of COVID-19

Tune into the United States Composting Council’s webinar series, Composting in the Time of COVID-19, especially if you are a municipal/commercial composter or food scraps hauler.

Show your appreciation and leave a thank you note for your local food scraps hauler.

US Composting Council – Mentoring Program Now Open

The United State’s Composting Council’s mentoring program is now open for applications – mentees and mentors! Tune into the April 17th webinar to hear from past mentors and mentees as well as the mentoring coordinator to answer your questions.

The mentoring program helps young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 with professional development as they grow their careers, personal capabilities and businesses in the composting industry. Mentors must be a USCC member, however mentees do not have to be members of USCC, but are encouraged to join throughout the year of mentorship. Applications are due by April 30, 2020. 

Wasted Food Warrior Tip of the Week

Got brown bananas? Turn those soft bruised bananas into delicious banana bread or ice cream. Store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Sales

Conference, Workshops & Webinars:

Funding Opportunities – Application Deadlines

We Want To Hear From You!

Is there a topic you’d like to learn more about or a public event or workshop related to recycling (organics, textiles, traditional recyclables, etc.) you’d like the greater community to know more about? E-mail us at and it could be featured in an upcoming Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter.


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