Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Solid Waste & Recycling Newsletter 

Stuff the Turkey, Not the Trash

Regardless of how you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving this year, you can still keep wasted food out of the picture by reaching for your favorite tips and tricks to avoid throwing out good ingredients and your holiday meal favorites! Check out some of our tips below.
Ways to waste less food this Thanksgiving:

  • Plan how much food you’ll need using Save the Food’s Guest-imator calculator.
  • Cook with imperfections. Think outside the box. You can use ingredients that may have passed their prime, such as bruised apples, for apple pie.
  • Rethink peeling vegetables. Some parts of produce items that aren’t traditionally used by many people – like carrot or potato peels - are perfectly edible and delicious!
  • Creative Leftovers. Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches. Discover new recipes from Save the Food or Love Food Hate Waste.
  • Freeze leftovers
  • Compost your food scraps. Save the scraps from preparing your traditional holiday foods such as pumpkins, squashes, and other kitchen scraps to keep them out of the trash.

Be grateful, not wasteful this holiday season, and help us reduce wasted food in New York State.

Do you have a creative recipe for how you use your Thanksgiving leftovers? Share with us at We encourage pictures.

Can I Recycle That? - Thanksgiving Edition

Recycle Right Thanksgiving

With the traditional Thanksgiving meal comes pots and pans, a myriad of empty containers, and dishes crowding countertops. As the cleanup ensues, it is important to ”Know Before You Throw” and recognize what can go in your home recycling bin and what cannot.

Tips for Recycling on Thanksgiving:

  • Know before you throw. Start by checking your municipality’s recycling rules or those provided by your recycling hauler.
  • Glassware and ceramic dishes should not go into your home recycling bin. Drinking glasses, dinnerware, and baking dishes, whether whole or in pieces, should not be put in your home recycling bin. However, glass items like empty food jars are usually acceptable to put in your home recycling bin.
  • Recycle metal cans and plastic bottles. You might also have steel cans from cranberry sauce or jugs and bottles of juice and milk. Empty metal cans and empty plastic bottles and jugs can also typically go in your home recycling bin.
  • Leave the liquids behind. Show your thanks for recycling and recycling workers by making sure food scraps and liquids are not disposed of in your recycling bin.
  • And the soiled pie pans too. Soiled disposable foil bakeware and pans, such as those used for pies, casseroles, and breads, should not go in your recycling bin.

EPA 2021 Environmental Education Grants Accepting Applications

Up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants is now available under the 2021 Environmental Education (EE) Local Grant Program through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA will award grants in each of its 10 Regions for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-40 grants nationwide. Applications are due Dec. 6, 2021.

EPA intends to provide financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques that will serve to increase environmental literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment in local communities, especially in underserved communities.

U.S. Emerging Composter Challenge - Applications Due November 30

The U.S. Composting Council is excited to announce the opening of the 2022 Emerging Composter Challenge, an annual business pitch/poster competition, open to young professionals looking to showcase their businesses and research within the composting, compostable products, and organics recycling space. Applicants from college students to any business (that meets requirements) that recycles or supports the recycling of organics are encouraged to apply! Submit your application by November 30, 2021. Both first and second place winners from last year were from New York State.

The final round of the 2022 competition will be held in Austin, Texas during the Annual Conference at COMPOST2022.


  • November 2021: Pumpkin Drop Off For Composting - Radix Center in Albany
  • November 2021 Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays 7 a.m. - 3 p.m: Pumpkin Drop Off for Composting - Town of Saugerties Transfer Station (must have composting permit)

DEC Proposed Rule Makings & Public Hearings

Conferences, Workshops & Webinars

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.