Ellen Pratt
Materials Recovery Manager


Location & Phone

477 Route 96
Owego, NY 13827

Main Phone:

Barton Transfer Station

The Barton Transfer Station located at 1216 Route 17C is open. It is privately owned and operated. Their hours of operation are Tuesday thru Saturday 7am – 12pm. They can be contacted by phone at 607-565-8170.

Recycling Matters

The difference that recycling makes is a big deal and it starts with small actions.

Recycling supports local jobs and helps keep prices lower on the goods you buy every day.  It conserves energy and produces less pollution, protecting our environment.

Tioga County Solid Waste Department provides a convenient and economical method for Tioga County residents to divert recyclables from landfills through our County-Wide Curbside Recycling Program.  Please see "Programs & Information" below for additional information such as our curbside recycling and household hazardous waste programs.  Please check this page regularly for updates on recycling and waste programs.

Partial funding for recycling, waste reduction and household hazardous waste programs is provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Programs & Information

For information on ASBESTOS please visit the EPA's website at

Household Batteries: (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-Volt, Alkalines, Ni-cad rechargeable, and button batteries):

Tioga County partnered up with Taylor Garbage Transfer Station, 352 Glen Mary Drive, Owego 607-687-6710 for year-round Household Battery Drop-Off program (ALKALINE (AAA, AA, C, D, 9 VOLT) & RECHARGEABLE (N-Cad, Ni-Mh, Li-Ion, Pb)).

Please note: Batteries should be kept dry; tape ends. If you have leaky or corroded batteries, please place them in a plastic bag before depositing them in the drop-off container.

Additional Battery Recycling

As of June 8, 2011 all retailers selling rechargeable batteries are required to accept back the same type of rechargeable batteries.

  • Valu Home Center, 1149 State Route 17c, Owego, 607-687-6800 (Rechargeable Batteries (N-Cad, Ni-Mh, Li-Ion, Pb) and Cellphones) 


  • Home Central, 151 Central Ave, Owego, 607-687-3284 (Rechargeable Batteries (N-Cad, Ni-Mh, Li-Ion, Pb) and Cellphones)


  • Home Depot, Johnson City, NY or Lowe's, Vestal, NY (Rechargeable Batteries (N-Cad, Ni-Mh, Li-Ion, Pb) and Cellphones)




Note: This program is limited to residents. Businesses can find alternate disposal locations Rechargeable Batteries (N-Cad, Ni-Mh, Li-Ion, Pb): Check with local retailer for recycling.


More locations can be found on Call 2 Recycle’s website click HERE


Auto (Lead acid batteries):

Ben Weitsman & Son

15 W Main St, Owego



Taylor Garbage Transfer Stations

352 Glen Mary Drive, Owego                



1216 State Route 17C, Barton




Over 20% of our community's waste isn't really waste at all; it’s compostable organic material like food and yard waste. If each of us does our part, we could reduce our waste substantially.

Composting will keep items such as:

Grass Clippings

Yard Trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small pruning)


Vegetable & Fruit Scraps

Coffee Grounds

Tea Leaves

Wood Chips

out of the waste stream and transforms these “wastes” into humus-rich material that can contribute nutrients and beneficial life to soil, improve soil structure and prevent runoff that can pollute rivers and lakes.

For more information on starting your own backyard composting or improving your home composting checkout the following Tioga County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension website



No more sorting recyclables. Just place all your recyclables together in your recycling bin. They are separated at a state-of-the-art recycling facility located in Tioga County.




Newspaper, Magazines, Catalogs

Junk mail and Office paper

Telephone books, Soft cover books, Hard cover books with cover removed

Greeting cards, Wrapping paper

          • No metallic wrapping paper


Corrugated Cardboard

 Single Layer cardboard

          • cereal & tissue boxes, egg cartons

 Gable Top Milk and Juice Cartons



NO-Waxed cardboard

NO-Food scraps or other contaminants. NO-Soiled paper NO-Foil/Metallic wrapping paper NO-Styrofoam egg cartons NO-Tissues NO-Napkins NO-Paper Cups NO-Paper Plates PLACE THESE IN YOUR TRASH


CONTAINER RECYCLING (Please Rinse Thoroughly)

GLASS: bottle and jar form only

          • Clear

          • Brown

          • Green


          • with the recycling symbol # 1 - 7

 Rigid Plastic:

          • 5-gal buckets and flower pots

          • Recycling tubs

          • Dish drainers

          • Plastic cups and bowls

          • Plastic hangers and chairs

          • Toys and etc…



Tin and aluminum cans Clean aluminum foil Clean aluminum pans Completely empty aerosol cans



ABSOLUTELY NO PLASTIC BAGS OF ANY KIND Please recycle plastic grocery bags at your local grocery store

  • This includes grocery bags, department store bags, Ziploc bags and garbage bags

NO-Feed, Pet Food Pellet or Coal Bags

NO-Styrofoam NO-Light bulbs NO-Automotive Fluid Containers NO-Glasses or Cookware NO-Glass Plates PLACE THESE IN YOUR TRASH



If you have been missed or need a replacement bin, please call us at (607) 687-8274.



MONDAY: TOWN OF OWEGO, including Kings Point, Lincolnshire and Ridgewood developments and Apalachin

TUESDAY: TOWNS OF CANDOR AND SPENCER, including Willseyville and Anderson Hill. Also Tioga Terrace


THURSDAY: TOWN OF BARTON, including Lockwood and Village of Waverly

FRIDAY: TOWNS OF RICHFORD, BERKSHIRE & NEWARK VALLEY. Also Village of Candor and Route 96 in Candor





Arrangements are available for residents with special needs. Please call our office so that we may help. If you have more than will fit into one bin, it is acceptable to place the overflow in a cardboard box alongside your bin.


Bins are County property and are to remain at their original location. If you move, leave the bin for the next occupant (You may label them with your address only, in permanent marker).


Putting your recycling out the night before your pick-up day may prevent being missed.

The Recycling Department offers several opportunities for teachers, organizations, and individuals to learn about recycling and waste reduction. We can tailor a presentation to fit the needs of your group or class.

School lessons and presentations can be taught on a variety of topics relating to waste reduction, natural resources extraction, low cost backyard composting, and to the basics of landfills and Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). Presentations can be adapted to focus on a particular school subject or curriculum standard making recycling education easy and accessible for interested teachers.

By teaching children about the recycling process early, recycling can become a life value. Additionally, when we teach children, we also reach adults-parents, teachers and other members of the community.

Schedule an Educational Program

Fill out this form and we will be in contact with you. Please note that spring is a very popular time of year for recycling education so programs should be schedule as far in advance as possible.

Introducing Tioga County Solid Waste’s Electronic Recycling
WHEN: Monday - Friday 7 am — 4 pm, NO SATURDAYS
(please check-in at the office first)
(proof of residency required)
Items Accepted:
  • Computers / Laptops / Small Scale Servers / Tablets / E-readers

You should erase personal information before recycling.

  • Televisions / Monitors

Limit of 3 “Tube Style” TV’s / Monitors Per Month

NO Limit on Rear Projection or Flat Screen TV’s / Monitors 

  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Mouse / Keyboard / Cables / Cords / Chargers
  • Cell Phones / Radios / Cameras
  • Fax Machines / Scanners / Printers

Only those intended for use with a computer and weighing less than 100 lbs.

  • VCRs / DVRs / DVD Players / Radios
  • Cable or satellite receivers (including digital media receivers)
  • Video game consoles & Accessories
Electronic equipment NOT included (Please check with office for alternative methods of disposal):
  • Any motor vehicle or any part thereof
  • Household appliances such as clothes washers, clothes dryers, refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, ovens, ranges or dishwashers
  • Any electronic equipment that is intended for use in an industrial, research & development, medical or commercial setting.
Please Note:  You can still bring your Televisions / Monitors and other Electronic waste to one of the Household Hazardous Waste designated collection days.  See dates and how to participate under Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Please Note: For more descriptive directions to clean up a small mercury spill please go to the Environmental Protection Agency website at

You might wonder what makes a light bulb so dangerous. Fluorescent lamps and mercury thermometers contain a small amount of an element called mercury. Mercury is a toxic substance that accumulates in the environment when items containing mercury are broken or thrown away. Mercury has been found in fish at levels of concern, resulting in fish consumption advisories throughout the State. Medical research has shown that exposure to unacceptable levels of mercury can cause neurological damage and attack your vital organs. New York State environmental law severely limits disposal of fluorescent bulbs in the trash. It also bans the sale of mercury-added novelty products and mercury-fever thermometers and requires new labeling and proper disposal or recycling of mercury-added consumer products. The law also prohibits primary and secondary schools from purchasing or using mercury.

Household Fluorescent Blubs

Residents that have old fluorescent bulbs hanging around the house have several disposal options:

  • Tioga County partnered up with Taylor Garbage Transfer Stations, 352 Glen Mary Drive, Owego 607-687-6710 for year-round Fluorescent Bulb Drop-Off program.
  • Valu Home Center, 1149 State Route 17c, Owego, 607-687-6800
  • Home Depot, Johnson City, NY or Lowe's, Vestal, NY (They accept CFLs only; the small "twirly" kind).

Note: This program is limited to residents. Businesses can find alternate disposal locations or on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website

NYS Environmental Law

The State's law requires the following:

  • Purchase and use of elemental mercury by primary and secondary schools is prohibited after September 4, 2004.
  • Sales of mercury thermometers are restricted after January 1, 2005.
  • Sales of toys or novelty products containing mercury are prohibited after January 1, 2005. (A product is not a mercury-added novelty solely on the basis that it is a game with a light screen display containing mercury, or includes an easily removable battery containing mercury.) A manufacturer that produces or sells mercury-added novelties shall notify retailers that sell mercury-added novelties about the product ban and inform them of how to properly dispose of the remaining inventory.
  • Sales of elemental mercury, except for specific research, dental and manufacturing uses are limited after January 1, 2005.
  • Products containing mercury must be labeled after July 12, 2005.
  • Waste products containing mercury must not be incinerated after July 12, 2005.
  • After July 12, 2005, waste products containing mercury must be managed separately from other solid waste. Fluorescent lamps from households and small businesses (100 or less employees and discarding 15 or less waste lamps per month) are exempt from these disposal restrictions.
  • Recommendations on reducing mercury pollution in New York State will be made by an advisory committee appointed by the Governor and the State Legislature. The committee will be required to report on the extent and health effects of mercury contamination, methods and costs associated with reducing risks from mercury contamination and other related topics.

Three national companies, GE Lighting, Philips Lighting, and Osram Sylvania manufacture low mercury fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescents and high pressure sodium lamps. These bulbs should be available through any local company that is a distributor of commercial lighting products.

Household hazardous waste is unusable home and garden products, which contain hazardous chemicals. Examples are pesticides, fertilizers, household cleaners, oil-based paints, oil-based driveway sealers, and pool chemicals. 

The improper use, storage or disposal of household hazardous waste may pose a risk to the health of humans, animals and the environment.

To reduce these risks, Tioga and Broome Counties have worked to include Tioga County residents in the use of Broome County’s permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. Wastes will be packed and shipped by trained personnel and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.


Print the confirmation letter below and BRING IT with you on any of the designated collection days scheduled.



April 5, 8 & 22 May 3, 6 & 20
June 3, 7 & 17 July 5, 8 & 22
August 2, 5 & 19 September 6, 9 & 23
October 4, 7 & 21 November 1, 4 & 18


Between 7:30 am and 11:30 am to the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Broome County Nanticoke Landfill, 286 Knapp Road, Binghamton, NY 13902.

Please do not bring hazardous waste to the Owego or Barton Transfer Stations.

There is NO CHARGE to use the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility on DESIGNATED COLLECTION DATES.


  • Household cleaners & floor care products
  • Pesticides & fertilizers
  • Oil paints, solvents, stains, polishes & varnishes
  • Driveway sealers
  • Pool and photography chemicals
  • Gasoline & kerosene
  • Automobile fluids (oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.)
  • Fire Extinguishers 

Please see How to Dispose of... for disposal methods of specific items

The list in the document below is not all inclusive and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by Tioga County or provide any assurances with regard to the quality of services provided.


How to Dispose of...

Have leftover or expired medications, and don’t know how to dispose of them? Do not flush them down the toilet or throw them out!

Pharmaceuticals are very hard to filter out once they are in the environment and persist for a very long time.

Unwanted medications (no sharps) can be brought to a permanent collection boxes located at:


Tioga County Sheriff’s Office

Medication Drop Box is located in the main lobby of the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office at 103 Corporate Drive, Owego, NY. The drop box is available Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Needles, lancets, other “sharps” and liquids are not accepted.


Village of Waverly Police Department 

Medication Drop Box is located at the Village of Waverly Police Department located at 32 Ithaca Street, Waverly, NY. The drop box is available Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM.  Needles/Sharps are not accepted


Sharps and Needles

Household Sharps Disposal Guidelines

Follow the below guidelines when storing sharps until they can safely be disposed of.


  • Place used Sharps in a sharps container. Containers can be purchased at the local drug store. If you do not have a sharps container use a plastic bottle that cannot be broken or punctured, such as a detergent bottle. Screw cap on & tape cap. Write “SHARPS” on the container. Bring to a designated drop-off location that accepts sharps.
  • Place sharps in container directly after use. Keep container closed and away from children and pets. Store in a secure location.
  • When traveling bring container with you.


  • Don’t put sharps containers in the trash.* 
  • Don’t clip, bend or put the cap back on used sharps
  • Don’t put loose used sharps or used sharps container in with the recyclables
  • Don’t put used sharps in soda cans, milk cartons, glass bottles or containers that can be broken or punctured. Coffee cans are not safe because plastic lids come off easily, leak and can be punctured.


*Used sharps containers can be placed in the trash only if access to a drop-off is not available


Sharps Disposal Locations

For a full listing of local sharps disposal locations visit New York State Directory of Community Sharps Collection Sites

Locations in Tioga and surrounding counties



Mercury is a shiny, silvery liquid metal that can cause serious health problems -

Liquid mercury vaporizes (evaporates) at room temperature causing elevated levels of mercury in indoor air. Mercury vapor is not irritating and has no odor, so people do not know when they are breathing it. Even the small amount of mercury from a broken thermometer can cause harm, especially to children, unless it is properly cleaned up and removed.

Mercury health effects -

  • Breathing small amounts of mercury vapor can harm the nervous system of unborn babies, nursing infants, and children.
  • Breathing larger amounts of mercury vapor can cause irritability, tremors, or memory loss; shortness of breath; respiratory & eye irritation; chest pain; high blood pressure; kidney damage.

Know where mercury may be found in your home -

Mercury may be found in thermometers, thermostats, blood pressure units, barometers and gas pressure regulators. Exposure to mercury can occur when people handle or play with the liquid metal, or when a measuring device breaks and mercury beads scatter onto floors or other surfaces. Spilled mercury is very hard to clean up, especially if it rolls into cracks and crevices, or if it is on fabric, upholstery or other porous material.

If you have old mercury thermometers or thermostats hanging around and you’re not sure what to do with them, you have several options.

1. Mercury Thermometers and Thermostats may be properly disposed at through the Tioga County Hazardous Waste Program.

Mismanaged mercury can be toxic and under certain circumstances can have highly detrimental effects on the nervous system. Removing mercury thermometers from the trash or the sanitary sewers is of considerable benefit to the environment.

2. Click on the following website for a list of other locations that accept THERMOSTATS in the community.

What you should do immediately after a mercury spill -

Avoid contact with the spilled mercury until you decide who will be cleaning it up - you or a professional. In general, you can clean up a small mercury spill yourself, such as from a fever thermometer or thermostat. This fact sheet provides a step-by-step guide on pages 3-4 on how to do the cleanup.

The New York State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation recommend that a trained professional, such as a hazardous waste contractor, do the cleanup whenever the amount of mercury spilled is greater than what is typically found in a fever thermometer or thermostat. In other words, if the amount of mercury spilled exceeds 3 grams or about the size of a green pea, a trained professional should do the cleanup.

Avoid spreading spilled mercury!

  • Never use a vacuum cleaner, mop or broom to clean up a mercury spill.
  • Avoid walking through the spill area.
  • Take children and pets to another room. Leave any clothing or footwear that came into contact with the spilled mercury in the affected room. If possible, close the doors of the room with the spilled mercury to keep vapors from spreading.

If the amount of mercury is more than what is in a thermometer - consider the following:

  • Stay out of the room until you begin the cleanup. If you cannot clean the area immediately, cover the spill and surrounding area with plastic. You can use one or more trash bags, overlapping side by side, to cover the beads until you can clean the spill.
  • Lower the room temperature, if possible, to reduce evaporation of mercury.
  • Shut down or close off vents that could spread mercury vapors to other areas.
  • Open exterior windows to ventilate any mercury vapors to the outdoors. If possible, place a fan in a window to blow the vapors out but avoid breezes that might blow the mercury vapor back indoors or into other nearby residences. You can run a bathroom exhaust fan or a cooking stove hood but only if it vents outdoors and only if it is located in the same room as the mercury spill.

Decide who will do the cleanup - you or a professional?

If the spill is... more than the amount in a mercury fever thermometer or thermostat, or if it is widely scattered, or if the spill is on carpeting which cannot be thrown out, or on upholstered furniture, or other porous items that cannot be bagged... you should call a trained professional. Check your telephone Yellow Pages under "Environmental engineers" or “Engineering services".

If in doubt... contact your local health department or others listed at the end of this fact sheet for more information.

Plan ahead if you have mercury-containing items in your home - get a Mercury Spill Kit

Mercury spill clean-up kits are available for purchase from laboratory equipment suppliers (some are listed in the box to the right). Carefully follow all the directions provided in the kit.

These mercury spill kits generally contain powders and suction devices. Additionally, it is recommended that you collect the items listed below and keep them with the kit.

List of what can be used to clean up a mercury spill:

  • latex or vinyl gloves
  • flashlight
  • zipper-type plastic bags (several)
  • plastic trash bags (at least two)
  • wide tape (masking, duct or clear)
  • paper towels
  • eyedropper
  • two index cards or pieces of stiff cardboard
  • sulfur powder (see below for details)
  • water to moisten paper towels

Sulfur powder (also called flowers of sulfur) can be purchased from agriculture supply stores, garden centers, and some pharmacies. For questions about the type of sulfur powder used during mercury spill cleanup, please contact the New York State Department of Health at 518-402-7810 or 800-458-1158.

Mercury Spill Kit Suppliers

  • Krackeler Scientific 800-334-7725
  • Lab Safety Supply 800-356-0783
  • Cole-Parmer 800-323-4340

For schools and businesses only:

  • Fisher Scientific 800-766-7000
  • Mallinckrodt/Baker 800-582-2537
  • Sigma Aldrich 800-325-3010
  • VWR Scientific 800-932-5000

For schools only:

  • Flinn Scientific 800-452-1261


  • NEVER use a vacuum cleaner, mop or broom to clean up a mercury spill. Heat from the vacuum cleaner's motor will increase the amount of mercury vapor in the air. Mops and brooms will spread the mercury, making proper clean up more difficult. The vacuum cleaner, mop or broom will become contaminated with mercury.
  • NEVER use a washer or dryer to clean clothing that became contaminated with liquid mercury. The washer and dryer can become contaminated with mercury. If these items are contaminated with mercury, they are very difficult to clean and may have to be disposed as hazardous waste.

Practical Information about mercury

A mercury spill usually forms several pools and many beads of mercury. Mercury does not stick to most materials other than some metals. Mercury beads roll very easily, often scattering long distances from the original location of the spill and getting into cracks and crevices where it can be very difficult to remove them. Cleaning up a mercury spill requires patience and attention to detail to recover the mercury and to limit your exposure to toxic mercury vapors.

Before you start to do a mercury spill cleanup!

At this point, you should have read the previous sections in this fact sheet that describe a small mercury spill, what you should do immediately after a mercury spill and what you need to know if you decide to do the spill cleanup yourself. The following section is a general step–by–step guide on how to clean up a small mercury spill. You should complete each of the following steps to recover the spilled mercury and remove the contamination. Any mercury not removed will continue to be a source of potentially harmful mercury vapors.

In this technology-driven age, an increasing number of Americans are turning to online search engines rather than print phone books, yet yellow pages companies continue to drop unwanted directories on residents' doorsteps throughout the country. Unwanted directories are not only a nuisance but also a waste: each year the industry uses an estimated 4.68 million trees worth of wood fiber, or 14 football fields’ worth of forest per day. They are also a burden on local governments, who pay nearly $60 million annually to recycle or dispose of unwanted phone books.

By opting out of receiving phone books, your community can quickly reduce its environmental footprint and send an important message to publishers about wasteful distribution. In fact, every 100 unwanted phone books removed from printing and distribution reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to nearly 2,000 miles driven by a passenger vehicle.

How Can Residents Opt Out?

It’s free, easy, and takes just 3 minutes! All residents need to do is click on "Opt Out Today" button

Enter zip code and create an account.  After completing registration, click "opt out of or order directories" and choose "opt out of all" option, then "save changes" and hit CONFIRM.

Please call to confirm before dropping off items. 

Cleaning out old clothes and other textiles?

Please DON’T throw away before looking into alternatives! Every year New York State residents and businesses throw away almost 1.4 billion pounds of usable and recyclable textiles.


  • Textiles in good condition such as clothing, footwear, belts, hats, handbags, gloves and other accessories for reuse are accepted at the following locations:

Open Door Mission - 687-1121

Salvation Army - 565-7137


  •  Please bring Fleece blankets, towels, sheets (gently used only) to Stray Haven - 565-2859


                Please call to confirm before dropping off items



Place these items in one of the many bins throughout Tioga County. These items do NOT have to be in "wearable" or perfect condition; they should, however, be clean and dry. For more information on available locations throughout the Southern Tier please visit the Textile Recovery Locations website.


***Only Dispose if wet or contaminated (for example: grease, mildew, odors), please place in trash.

  • Use Reusable Shopping Bags
  • Recycle and Buy Recycled Goods
  • Sell or donate unwanted items such as clothes, furniture and etc.
  • Start a Composting Pile
  • Choose durable/reusable goods
  • Buy in bulk, rather than single-serving packages


Please see the upcoming holiday schedule for the 2017 

On Thursday November 23rd Thanksgiving there will be no pickup

  • Thursday's recycling will be picked on Friday November 24th
  • Friday's recycling will be picked on Saturday November 25th

On Monday December 25th Christmas there will be no pickup

  • Monday's recycling will be picked up on Tuesday December 26th
  • Tuesday's recycling will be picked up on Wednesday December 27th
  • Wednesday's recycling will be picked up on Thursday December 28th
  • Thursday's recycling will be picked up on Friday December 29th
  • Friday's recycling will be picked up on Saturday December 30th

On Monday January 1st New Years Day there will be no pickup

  • Monday's recycling will be picked up on Tuesday Jan 2nd
  • Tuesday's recycling will be picked up on Wednesday Jan 3rd
  • Wednesday's recycling will be picked up on Thursday Jan 4th
  • Thursday's recycling will be picked up on Friday Jan 5th
  • Friday's recycling will be picked up on Saturday Jan 6th

Here are a few tips to help you capture the spirit of the original Thanksgiving, and to give your holiday celebration extra meaning.

Buy and Eat Locally Grown Food

Buying locally grown food is a good way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Locally grown food tastes better and also contributes to the local economy, supporting local farmers as well as local merchants.

Travel Smart

If you must go over the river and through the woods, use less fuel and lower your emissions by making sure your car is in good working order and your tires are properly inflated.

Crafty Decorations

Add a little extra elegance to your table with homemade decorations. Have the kids chip in with a pre-Thanksgiving craft day.

Say Thank You

Whatever else you do on Thanksgiving, make it a time to say thank you to the people in your life who matter most. Life is short, every moment counts, and many of the best moments in life are those spent with friends and family.

Do Something Fun!

Instead of firmly planting yourself in front of the TV for the day, consider getting some fresh air or playing a board game. Take advantage of the time together with friends and family.

Lose the Leftovers

Once the party is over, consider donating your leftovers to a food bank or nearby homeless shelter.

Recycling Isn’t a Chore

Last, but not least, get back to the basics and recycle. Recycling what you can will significantly reduce the number of times you have to take the trash out, as well as the amount of garbage you send to the landfill.


A little planning ahead of time can reduce the amount of trash that goes to the landfill and reuse can even generate useful items. You can “Be the Solution” and have a more waste-free holiday season by following a few simple tips.

Before the holidays is a perfect time to clean out some of the clutter and unused items in your home. If you have outgrown toys and clothing, consider donating them to charitable organizations that reuse them.  Discarded electronics (computers, copiers, fax machines, printers, and monitors) may be donated to a local nonprofit agency, parent-teacher association.  One man's clutter is another person's treasure.

Gift Giving

  • Make it or buy locally produced gifts! Choose or make gifts that are practical and consist of environmentally friendly materials.  Check the recycled content and life of the gift when purchasing.
  • Instead of exchanging unwanted items with coworkers or extended family, suggest donating to a charity as a group.

Wrapping & Cards

  • Use recycled or recyclable materials for packaging gifts; reuse a nice tin, box or gift bag.
  • Select uncoated giftwrap that can be recycled and/or burned safely.
  • Make gift tags from small pieces of the existing wrap or from old holiday cards.
  • Consider cutting back your list, choosing cards made of recycled materials, or even buying them from a charity that benefits the environment.
  • If your friends are web-savvy, skip the post office altogether and send cards via e-mail.
  • Save wrapping & etc. by neatly folding the tissue and bags, and store with your other Christmas items, and use them again next Christmas.

Christmas Lights

Trade in your energy guzzling lights for newer, energy saving lights.

Use fewer lights.

Recycle old lights at Home Depot and Lowe’s typically offer a Christmas light recycling program each year. Contact your local store to see if they have a program and how long it runs.


Recycle packaging materials

Styrofoam peanuts may be taken at no charge to Tioga Package, 18 West Main Street, Owego, 687-6562; Mail Boxes etc. - All outlets. For information on recycling plastic foam peanuts, or if you are a retailer interested in foam peanut recycling, go to


  • Rechargeable batteries and a battery charger are a great way to cut down on the consumption of batteries.
  • Recycle Alkaline (AAA, AA, C, D, & 9 VOLT), Rechargeable (Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Metal Hydride (NiMh)and Lithium Ion (Li-ION) at TIOGA MANAGEMENT WASTE FACILITY at 352 GLEN MARY DRIVE, OWEGO between 7— 4 Monday - Friday & 7—12 on Saturday   ALL BATTERIES MUST HAVE THEIR TERMINALS TAPED! Tioga County Solid Waste makes this free disposal option available to all households in Tioga County. 


  • Consider a synthetic tree or wreath that can be used year after year.
  • Buy a potted tree with roots that can be planted after the holidays.
  • Decorate with recyclable, compostable, or bird-friendly materials.

Most villages provide tree pick-up or drop-off for their residents.  Call your village for more information.  If you live in a rural area, lay the tree out where the branches can offer shelter for birds and other wildlife.  Waterman Conservation Education Center will accept old Christmas trees at its 403 Hilton Road location in Apalachin.  Trees can be dropped off at the center’s parking lot. For more information, call 625-2221.



  • More presents are being bought online and shipped, and that means more cardboard boxes.
  • Cardboard boxes are a high-value recyclable, but the sheer volume of them means they often overflow the recycling bins and end up in the trash. If you receive gifts by mail this year, break down the cardboard boxes to save space and make sure they end up in the recycling pile.
  • You don’t need to remove every piece of tape.
  • Aside from cardboard boxes, milk jugs, soda cans and bottles also are valuable recyclables, so getting them into the right stream will make a difference.

Disposable Plates, Utensils & Napkins

  • Disposable plates, utensils and napkins are NOT recyclable. Throw disposable plates, napkins and paper towels in the trash or compost, if you compost at home.
  • Paper towels also aren’t recyclable – even if they are only used to dry clean, wet hands.
  • Best to skip the disposables in favor of reusables when possible.

Plastic Bags

  • Keep plastic bags away from the recycling bin
  • Plastic bags or other films tend to clog up the recycling system. Plastic bags could shut down the entire recycling system for an hour or so just by getting bound up in the equipment.
  • This does not mean perfectly good shopping bags need to go to the landfills. Most grocery and retail stores take them back, and of course, you can avoid using disposable plastic bags by bringing your own reusable bag.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is an increasingly common time for the wrong things to end up in those recycling bins. Recycling mistakes – such as bowling balls, for instance, and large plastic toys with metal parts, batteries and electronics – make recyclers’ jobs harder and more costly, which in turn increase municipal costs to taxpayers and ultimately reduce the amount of material that gets recycled.

Many people think if recyclers can’t recycle an item, they can just remove it, but recycling streams that require more sorting are less likely to be able to be recycled economically – and more likely to become waste.

One of the most common mistakes recyclers find in the red bins at this time of year is metallic gift wrap. Much of the glossy or laminated gift wrap that’s popular around Christmas can’t be recycled; neither can many of the ribbons, especially those with wire mesh.



Put in paper bags or directly in your recycling bin. If you have a lot place in a cardboard box and place the box next to your bin.  NO METALLIC PAPER, TAGS, OR RIBBON.


Recycle cards anytime through your curbside mixed paper recycling. Exceptions:  Metallic or foil cards (place these in the trash).

Have a safe and happy holiday season and remember to never burn wrapping paper or Christmas trees in the fireplace.

Tioga County's GIS Department created an app using ARCGIS and Web AppBuilder to view click here