Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

Green Your Way Back to School

It's back to school season, and while school looks a little differently for everyone this year - K-12 and college alike - we encourage families and students to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, stay healthy, and focus on studies. Below are some sustainable considerations to help guide your way back to school:

Back To School

  • Reuse notebooks, folders and other schools supplies from last year.
  • Reuse your backpack from last year.
  • Use both sides of paper.
  • Buy used textbooks or online versions.
  • Pack lunch with reusable containers.
  • Say no to plastic utensils, straws and condiment packets if you don’t need them.
  • Use reusable water bottles.
  • Turn off and unplug laptops, printers, chargers and other devices when not in use to conserve energy.
  • Take your sustainability club or other club meetings virtual to keep sharing ideas and planning.
  • Get crafty and make your own homemade, reusable mask.

Repair Cafes - What's Next?

The last Repair Cafes in the Hudson Valley were held pre-pandemic in the very early days of March. Since then, the network of Repair Cafes in the Hudson Valley has suspended all in-person repair activity. Because Repair Cafes thrive on across-the-table proximity and on passing things back-and-forth, they are being more cautious about resuming their community gatherings.

While the in-person gatherings have stopped, the ideas have not. Many interesting “interim” ideas have surfaced: small, single-category repair events (i.e., bikes) with strict protocols in place, "open air repair" events, a "Drop-off repair" service to match repair seekers with fixers, and locally organized virtual DIY Workshops. All are viable ideas for Organizers and volunteers in their region. At the same time, many people have been learning to repair at home, and "virtual repair" events have been getting better and better. Log on to observe--or register to "bring" an item for troubleshooting at a distance! Repair Cafe NC has created a website to track the virtual events, which originate from all over the world.

Repair is more relevant than ever, and the Repair Cafes in the Hudson Valley hope to be back stronger than ever in 2021. The Repair Café organizers in the Hudson Valley would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has expressed their support for their on-going experiment in repair culture. Find out more about Repair Cafes in the Hudson Valley on Facebook or Instagram (@repaircafehv). They are currently re-designing their website to accommodate the 40+ Repair Cafes active in the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Learn to repair! Repair to learn! Learn more about Repair Cafes.

Conference, Workshops & Webinars:

Award Nominations

Funding/RFP Opportunities - Application Deadlines

We Want To Hear From You!

Is there a topic you'd like to learn more about or a public event or workshop related to recycling (organics, textiles, traditional recyclables, etc.) you'd like the greater community to know more about? E-mail us at and it could be featured in an upcoming Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter. 

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