Ellen Pratt
Sustainability Manager

[email protected]


56 Main Street, Room 102
Owego, NY 13827

Main Phone:

Recycling Search Tool

A comprehensive search tool enabling you to look up how to dispose of a wide variety of items can be found by CLICKING HERE.


  Recycling & Disposal Information


Quick Curbside Recycling Guide


  • newspaper
  • magazines
  • catalogs
  • junk mail
  • office paper
  • telephone books
  • soft cover books
  • hard cover books (with the cover removed)
  • greeting cards


If you shred at home, place shredded paper in a clear or opaque plastic bag, so it's contained and the recycling staff can see what it is.  It is best if you use one of the shredding events held by local banks and credit unions.


  • corrugated cardboard
  • single layer cardboard
  • cereal & tissue boxes
  • egg cartons
  • gable top milk and juice cartons

DO NOT RECYCLE - (place these items in your trash)

  • NO waxed cardboard
  • NO food scraps or other contaminants
  • NO soiled paper
  • NO wrapping paper!!!
  • NO styrofoam egg cartons
  • NO tissues, napkins, paper cups, paper plates


  • Clear, brown and green (jars and bottles only)
  • No window pane glass, mirrors, ceramics, plates, cups or light bulbs


  • Food and beverage containers (no food or liquid left in container)
  • Detergent, Shampoo containers, etc
  • Microwave trays
  • Small plastic totes
  • Plastic dish drainers
  • Small plastic waste baskets
  • Plastic reusable bottles
  • Plastic reusable food storage containers (no food or liquid-empty containers)
  • Recycling tubs  

No plastic bags*, plastic film*, Styrofoam, packing foam, packing peanuts, "clamshell" containers, automotive fluid containers, small appliances, utensils and plates.


  • tin and aluminum cans
  • metal lids such as olive and pickle jar lids
  • clean aluminum foil
  • clean aluminum pans
  • completely empty aerosol cans

No utensils, hangers, wire, cords or scrap metal



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

*Plastic bags and plastic film can be recycled through bag recycling programs at store locations

NO-Plastic or Food Wrap

NO-Prescription bottles

NO-Plastic Lids or Caps

NO-Feed, Pet Food, Pellet or Coal Bags


NO-Light bulbs

NO-Automotive Fluid Containers

NO-Glasses, Glass Plates or Cookware

NO-Window Glass



To replace or receive a new curbside recycling bin, please contact your private or municipal hauler.  

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

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 7, 10 & 24 May 5, 8 & 22
June 2, 5 & 19 July 7, 10 & 24
August 4, 7 & 21 September 1, 11 & 25
October 6, 9 & 23 November 3, 6 & 20

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
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Antifreeze, brake fluid **Please take oil to your local automotive service station**
  • Fire Extinguishers 
  • Computers, monitors, printers, laptops
  • Keyboards, radios, stereos, modems
  • Televisions, VCRs, fax machines, microwaves
  • Mobile phones, pagers

Up to 3 TV's & 3 monitors per resident

Acceptable items include:

  • Televisions (as well as TV set cathode ray tubes)
  • Computers
  • Computer Peripherals* (Monitors, Keyboards, Mice or Similar Pointing Devices, Facsimile Machines, Document Scanners, Printers)
  • Small Electronic Equipment* (tablets, VCRs, Digital Video Recorders, Portable Digital Music Players, DVD Players, Digital Converter Boxes, Cable or Satellite Receivers, Electronic or Video Game Consoles, etc.)
  • Small Scale Servers

* Computer peripherals and small electronic equipment also include any cable, cord or wiring permanently affixed to or incorporated into such product. 

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

Recycling is mandated in New York State.

In order to follow this mandate, residents are required to contract with a private hauler for recycling pickup.

Here are four possible options depending on where you live in Tioga County for curbside recycling only as well as curbside trash & recycling collection:

  • B&E Disposal – 607-699-3406

  • Taylor Garbage – 607-797-5277

  • Bert Adams Disposal – 607-648-4863

  • RPM Group – 607-223-8714

Casella (607-358-7771) do not provide curbside recycling only but are an option for curbside trash & recycling collection.

According to Taylor Garbage, residents will no longer be allowed to drop recycling off at their transfer stations, only trash. 

Do you 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 of water and soil 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

Household Sharps Disposal Guidelines:

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

DO -

  • 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 -

  • 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 - CLICK HERE FOR WHAT TO DO WITH NEEDLES

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 or visit their website http://opendoormissionandthereddoor.weebly.com/

Salvation Army - 565-7137


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

                Please call to confirm before dropping off items



These items may be taken to the Open Door Mission (687-1121 or http://opendoormissionandthereddoor.weebly.com/) or placed 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.

  Reduce, Reuse, & Compost

  • 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


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 this link "Opt Out Today" enter your zip code and create an account.  After completing the registration, click "opt out of or order directories" and choose "opt out of all" option, then "save changes" and hit CONFIRM.


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


  Outreach & Classroom Education

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.

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.

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