Syracuse, N.Y. — Even the people who run Onondaga County’s recycling program admit that recycling can be confusing.
So at 1 p.m. today, we’ll have Dale Cocca, recycling specialist for the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, answer your questions during a Facebook Live event. Visit the Syracuse.com Facebook page and fire off your questions. We’ll get to as many as we can.
Here are some common questions people have about recycling: Are egg cartons recyclable? Should I put my recyclables in plastic bags? Can I put a plastic garden hose in the recycling bin? (No, no and absolutely not.)
While Onondaga County’s contamination rate for recyclables is low compared to other communities, about 400 tons of trash gets pulled out at the Recycle America plant every year and taken to the incinerator. Those well-meaning attempts at recycling — some people call it “wish-cycling” — just gum up the machinery and make it more costly to run the recycling program.
Contamination of recyclables with non-recyclables is also the reason we’re in the middle of a recycling crisis. China recently stopped taking most recyclables from the U.S., particularly paper, because there was too much junk in it. Despite Onondaga County’s good recycling rates, OCRRA had to make up a $2.5 million shortfall this year to process recyclables.
You might be part of the problem. Check in with us at 1 p.m. today to find out.