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The Complete Guide to Syracuse Recycling & Waste Disposal

Learn Where and How to Recycle in Syracuse

The city of Syracuse is the emerald jewel of upstate New York. It is a city that values greenery in all its forms, from public parks to robust recycling services. The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency reports a recycling rate of over 60% (OCRRA) for the Syracuse area, vaulting the city and its environs among the ranks of world-class sustainable cities like San Francisco and Seattle. How do Syracusans maintain such a green recycling profile? The city maintains a single-stream recycling service that collects every recyclable in one bin, rather than separate containers. This dramatically improves the participation rate among residents and businesses alike, who recycled 37,760 tons and 187,400 tons respectively in 2011. And the city's commitment to green waste management has only increased in the years since.

Want to do your part to maintain Syracuse's sky-high recycling rate? Look here to find a green, responsible way to dispose of all your junk and debris. Every local resource you need to keep green with your recycling is listed here; including car parts, household hazardous waste, construction debris, appliances and more. 

Automotive

Cars have a lot of moving parts and fluids, which under ideal circumstances stay inside the car. But at some point every car starts letting itself go, with dead batteries and flat tires usually being the first sign of aging. When that starts happening, we can help you find the right place for all those parts.

Car Batteries

Any auto parts dealer in the ’Cuse will accept your old car battery for recycling. But there are many other local businesses that will pay a small sum for old car batteries. 

Gasoline & Automotive Fluids

If you have a stockpile of old gas canisters sitting in your shed, it might be time to clean house and dump them at your local hazardous waste facility. Residents of Onondaga County can take unused gasoline and other automobile fluids to:

Junk Cars

It’s better to take your old busted car to either a recycler or a local charity that can give it to someone in need. 

Tires

Tires can be recycled into all sorts of goodies, like asphalt or even garden beds. In the Syracuse area, you’ll find tire drop-off stations both north and south of the city. 

Construction Materials

Have you just replaced your roof? Completely transformed your cozy little living room into a ginormous living space for eight? In either case, you’ve probably got some construction and demolition debris left over. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of places in the Syracuse area where you can take the leftovers!

Carpets

Tired of the old, brown 70s era carpet in the living room? Then it’s time to tear it up, load it up, and drop it off at one of these local waste facilities or donation centers.

Scrap Metal

In a world made of metal, the recycler is king. That being said, there are plenty of “kings” you can take your scrap metal to in the Syracuse area. Some of whom will gladly pay you for your old ferrous and non-ferrous metals. 

Miscellaneous

Your miscellaneous construction materials can find a safe space with any of these local scrapyards and waste facilities. These locations can dispose of and recycle practically anything you might have lying around the home or work site.                 

Electronics

Throwing away old electronics should always be a last resort, especially considering the numerous recycling options Syracusans have available to them. Here you’ll find options for both recycling and donating your old computers, cell phones and more.

Computers

Computers are highly valued as donations. So if you have an old laptop collecting dust somewhere consider dusting it off and then dropping it off with a local nonprofit. On the other hand, if you’re looking to get rid of an old Compaq Presario with a shot motherboard, you might want to go with a local recycler.

Cell Phones

We all have a box full of broken, obsolete or out-of-date cell phones lying around. Time to stop hoarding them and start doing something productive with them! Use these local resources to recycle or donate your phone towards a worthy cause.

Televisions

Do you have a bulky set from the 90s that’s just barely clinging to life? It might be time to put it out to pasture, or rather, the scrap heap. There are places throughout the city where you can take your old television set, just be sure they accept the type of TV you have to offer.                 

Appliances

Have a dishwasher that needs to be hung out to dry? We can help you find the right place for it. There are organizations all over Syracuse that can put your used appliances to good use. As for the old ones that are past their prime, they can be recycled using any number of local businesses.                                  

Refrigerators

A good refrigerator is hard to find, which is why when yours finally kicks the bucket you need to know where to take it for a proper burial. Local scrap collectors and transfer stations can take your broken fridge off your hands. On the other hand, if your fridge is still purring along just nicely, consider donating it to a local charity.    

Paper & Plastic

Syracuse provides everyone with a big blue bin where they can toss in all of their recyclables, including paper and plastic. But there are some restrictions on the kinds of paper and plastic products you can put in your bin. Use the table below to figure out which items are A-okay to put in your bin and which are not. 

What goes in your blue bin:

Newspapers Magazines
Catalogs Softcover Books
Carboard Pizza, Pasta, and Cereal Boxes
#1 & #2 Plastic Bottles #5 Plastic Jugs
Cans & Jars Papers, Mail, Envelopes

What doesn’t go in your blue bin:

Cardboard with Wax, Plastic, Styrofoam Paper Plates & Cups
Paper Towels, Tissues, and Toilet Paper Hard Plastics
Plastic Bags Motor Oil Bottles

Household Items

Everything in your household falls into two broad categories: items in use, and clutter that should be thrown away or donated. When it comes to the latter, you want to be sure you are on top of it and know where to take all those extra odds and ends before spring arrives. 

Mattresses

Mattresses are soft, pliable and downright comfortable, until they reach old age. Then comfort drops considerably and those sharp metal springs start pinching nerves. When that happens, consider taking your old buster mattress to a local recycler.

Food & Yard Waste

Though you won’t find a compost bin sitting next to your recycling bin, there are still a couple of places around the city that will gladly take your food scraps and other compost materials.

Clothing

Have a hamper of old clothing hanging around? Consider taking them to the local Goodwill or any one of the numerous charities and nonprofits in the greater Syracuse area. 

 

For Everything Else…

What to Do with Household Hazardous Waste

The city of Syracuse offers residents a household hazardous waste drop-off program that accepts a wide array of hazardous items for disposal. In order to use this program, you must make sure you have an appointment scheduled with Environmental Products and Services of Vermont five days in advance of your drop-off date. 

Environmental Products and Services of Vermont

532 State Fair Boulevard

Syracuse, NY 13204

(315) 451-6666

Hours: 6:30 am – 6:00 pm

Acceptable Items:

Automotive Products Cleaning Supplies
Garden Supplies Pesticides
Painting Supplies Kerosene
Fluorescent Light Bulbs Mercury Thermometers
Lighter Fluid Smoke Detectors

Local Landfill & Transfer Stations

Camillus Landfill (C&D Only)

Belle Isle Road, Syracuse, NY 13209

(315) 488-4846

Rock Cut Road Drop-Off Site (MSW + C&D)

5808 Rock Cut Road

Jamesville, NY 13078

(315) 453-2866

Ley Creek Transfer Station (MSW + C&D)

5158 Ley Creek Drive

Liverpool, NY 13088

(315) 453-2866

 

 

Recycling Success Stories in Syracuse

When You Don’t Have a Landfill, You Must Burn!

Syracuse is unique among upstate cities in that it doesn’t rely entirely on landfills for waste management. Instead, it uses a waste-to-energy facility that burns the city’s non-recyclable trash and uses the resulting energy to generate electricity. Burning the city’s trash offers a number of advantages over landfilling, the primary benefit being that far less landfill space is required for storing the leftover waste. The other benefit of course is gaining an additional source of low-carbon energy for Syracuse.

The Onondaga County WTE Facility began construction in 1992, and started burning two years later. Since then, it has expanded its capacity to provide enough power for 25,000-30,000 homes and cut the amount of landfill volume needed for the city by 90%. 

Colleen’s Creative Outlet Finds a Use for Old Clothing

Colleen is a native Syracusan who, after 20 years in the metal health field, decided to set up her own design studio for upcycled clothing. Her materials are derived from used clothing donated by customers who are looking for a unique shirt or coat. In one case, a customer asked her if she could make a new shirt for her husband using his old ties. She happily obliged. 

All of her designs are offbeat, designs she refers to as “play clothes for adults". Her clothes have struck a chord with many in the Etsy community, where her designs are sold online. She is also a frequent sight at arts and fashion shows across upstate New York.