Together We Can Make a Difference


Schenectady County Recycles!

Schenectady County Recycles is a collaborative partnership between Schenectady County and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schenectady County. This program is funded by Schenectady County with the support of grants through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

Schenectady County Recycles provides outreach, education, and resources for youth and adults to learn about the benefits of recycling, waste reduction, and home composting. Our goal is to provide the public with the best information available about local recycling and sustainable materials management. 


View the Recycling Fact Sheet here!


Recycling is more than just using the Blue Bin...

We want to empower our neighbors with knowledge about how to manage unwanted items in the most environmentally sustainable way possible. We offer education about household hazardous waste, how to dispose of paints, chemicals, medications, electronics recycling, how to donate various items like clothing, shoes, textiles, homegoods, and other hard to recycle items.

Recycling has its challenges...

It's important to recycle, but it's better to recycle right! Not everything can be recycled and recent changes in the global recycling market will change the way American recyclables are managed. It's more important now than ever to learn what can and cannot go in the recycling bin, because contamination affects the quality and value of recyclables. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...

Recycling is so important, but it's really the last thing we can do to prevent environmental pollution and conserve natural resources. We've all heard of the 3Rs and they're in that order for a reason! Preventing waste (and recycling) before it ever enters your life makes a larger impact than simply choosing to recycle.

Cooperative Extension staff and Master Composter Master Recycler volunteers are here for you to learn more about these issues and solutions related to solid waste. We offer free access to information and free educational programming for families, community groups, social clubs, schools, and businesses.

Why is recycling so important?

  • Americans create 260+ million tons of municipal solid waste each year and even though more than 80% of our waste stream is recyclable or compostable, America's national recycling rate is only 34%
  • Recycling extends the life-cycle of raw materials that have been extracted from the natural world, which conserves these natural resources and protects natural environments 
  • In America, 52% of the municipal solid waste generated gets managed by burial. There are 3,000 active landfills in America, but many landfills are reaching capacity. Recycling diverts material from landfills, and conserves landfill space for all the materials that cannot be recycled
  • Recycling reduces the air, land, and water pollution that threatens many plant and animal ecosystems. Recycling and composting greatly reduces the environmental pollution that's causing global climate change
  • Recycling supports the economy by creating jobs in local and global industries.
  • Recycling can help improve the lives of others by donating unwanted materials to charitable organizations
  • Recycling shows leadership and environmental stewardship in your family, business, and community

Making Compost!

Find resources here on how to start and maintain a home compost bin! Learn how to turn food and yard waste into "black gold" for your garden!

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Compost Basics

Our handout explains the basics and benefits of home composting. What is compost and why is it so useful when used as mulch, in the garden or in potting mixtures?

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Asbestos sheets


Asbestos is a common yet toxic material. Learn how to identify it and protect your home.

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Recycling Ag Plastics

Recycling agricultural plastics is a big challenge for farmers and communities. Learn about Cornell's RAPP project and the "BigFoot Baler" here.

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Angelina Peone
Recycling and Composting Educator
(518) 372-1622

Last updated November 29, 2018