Drop-Off Event This Sunday & Other Great Spring Cleaning Options

safe disposal event
SAFE disposal event administered by the NYC Department of Sanitation. (Photo: Veolia North America)

Spring is here! That means Spring Cleaning, which entails all of us trying to dispose of a wide assortment of items that should not go into our trash cans.

If you are trying to safely get rid of hazardous household items and electronics, bring them to the NYC Department of Sanitation’s SAFE Disposal Event in Prospect Park this Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm.

DSNY hosts SAFE (Solvents, Automotive, Flammables, and Electronics) Disposal Events throughout the year in all five boroughs.

Items You Can Drop Off On Sunday

  • Electronics
  • Personal care items like medicines or cosmetics
  • Thermometers
  • Syringes (clearly labeled and packaged in a “sharps” container or other leak proof, puncture-resistant container)
  • Household products such as pesticides, paint, hazardous cleaners, spent compact fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Automotive products such as motor oil, transmission fluid, and spent batteries

Only NYC residential waste is accepted at SAFE Disposal Events, and no commercial vehicles are allowed. Residents must provide proof of NYC residency, such as a NYS driver’s license or utility bill.

Be prepared for a line, says the City.

Can’t make it to this weekend’s SAFE event? The City also has drop-off sites for batteries, paint, fluorescent light bulbs and other hazardous household items.

And there are other options for electronics recycling. Remember, you can no longer put electronics — from mice to TVs to tablets — in the trash.

What Happens to Items Dropped Off at a SAFE Event?

The City says that materials collected are “either recycled, blended for fuel, or sent to licensed hazardous waste treatment facilities for safe disposal.”

Electronics are recycled or refurbished for reuse through , the City’s on-site electronics recycling service for apartment buildings with ten or more units.

Unwanted medications are “managed by environmental police and incinerated to prevent unintentional poisonings or entry into the water supply.”

Lets Stop Our Waste From Going Into Landfills!

New York City residents — and private businesses — produce an estimated 20,000 tons of trash per day. The de Blasio administration has set the highly ambitious goal that New York will send zero waste to landfills by 2030.

The City is actively trying to both 1.) minimize the amount of waste that it trucks to landfills and incinerators across the country, and 2.) find ways to dispose of toxic substances more safely.

Here are two other categories of waste that no longer need to be buried in a landfill in Ohio or Virginia, or sent to our neighbors in Newark, NJ for incineration.

1.) Organic material: one-third of our residential waste stream

It is becoming more feasible for New Yorkers to stop putting food waste into the trash.

The City is gradually expanding its curbside organics recycling program. Organics means food scraps, paper towels and yard waste. Residents already recycle glass, metal, plastic and paper.

The Department of Sanitation has had some issues in the past with finding a place that will accept all the organic waste it collects every day. Nonetheless, if the DSNY can successfully expand organics recycling to every neighborhood, this would cut the amount of solid waste New York City sends to landfills by almost one-third!

No curbside organics recycling in your neighborhood yet? Consider taking your compostable material to a drop-off site, like your local Greenmarket.

2.) Clothing and other textiles

You can drop off clean & dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36″ x 36″ or larger, and other textiles at your local Greenmarket.

Do you live in a building with ten apartments or more? DSNY will help you set up a clothing and textile recycling bin in your building!

Check out DSNY’s website for more information on other recycling and re-use options.

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