Eco Talk: Cayuga County Recycling Event Scheduled in Time for Spring Cleaning | Lifestyles

Judy Wright Citizen Special

After a hiatus due to COVID-19, Cayuga County’s Spring Electronics Plus recycling event is back and available only to Cayuga County households.

As we undertake spring cleaning, please keep in mind that some seemingly innocent household items should not be disposed of with household trash, as they contain hazardous materials.

Do you have outdated, broken or obsolete electronic devices such as computers, keyboards, fax machines, scanners, radios, cell phones, pagers, microwave ovens and universal power cords, for to name a few? All of these are considered electronic devices and should be recycled.

Cayuga Recycles partners have scheduled the Spring Electronics Plus Recycling event from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. This event is open to residents of Cayuga County; however, registration is required and once registered for a timeslot you will receive confirmation of the location. Registration is open now and available on a first-come, first-served basis with only 500 slots available. Go to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County website at save. For those unable to access the Internet, call the local extension at (315) 255-1183. Registration will remain open until April 8 or until the time slots are filled.

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At the Spring Electronics Plus Recycling event, households can bring a total of four tube televisions and CRT computer monitors. All other acceptable electronic items are unlimited. Did you realize that old tube TVs can contain 6-8 pounds of lead in their cathode ray tubes, along with other materials that can harm the environment if disposed of improperly?

In addition to electronics, Cayuga Recycles will also accept button cells and hearing aid batteries. Alkaline batteries no longer contain mercury and can be disposed of in your household waste — please do not bring them.

Fluorescent tube bulbs, which contain mercury, will be accepted for recycling at no charge due to partial funding from the state Department of Environmental Conversation. Both major home improvement stores in the Auburn area accept and recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs and larger rechargeable batteries year-round. Therefore, these items will not be accepted during the recycling event on April 9. Bring all printer toner and ink cartridges for free recycling.

Do you have old window or portable air conditioners, small refrigerators or dehumidifiers? These can also be recycled on Saturday, April 9, at no cost through funding from Nucor Steel, but there is a 40-pound limit.

A list of acceptable items for recycling is available on the Cayuga County Solid Waste Management website, with a link to it on the event registration page. Be sure to double check to make sure you are bringing what is accepted. Additionally, some common items that are do not smoke detectors, devices containing liquid mercury and household hazardous waste (except those destined for the collection of household hazardous waste) are accepted. Other items that will not be accepted are gas-powered equipment, major appliances, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, wooden speakers, and LED and CFL bulbs.

Each fall, Cayuga Recycles partners hold a household hazardous waste collection event. So save pool chemicals, driveway sealer, latex and oil-based paints, solvents, pesticides, adhesives, varnishes, waxes, and mercury. Improper disposal of household hazardous waste can have a short and long term impact on the environment. The date and location are yet to be announced, but keep all household hazardous waste, which will be accepted free of charge.

The Spring Electronics Plus recycling event is sponsored by Cayuga Recycles. Cayuga Recycles is a partnership between the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, the Cayuga County Office of Solid Waste Management, the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County.

Special thanks to Nucor Steel for their continued financial support. Their contributions help offset recycling costs. Please consider making a donation when you register to help keep these recycling events free. The cost of recycling has increased due to new policies and procedures, limited markets for recycled materials, and rising labor costs.

If you have any questions about the Spring Electronics Plus recycling event, please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County at (315) 255-1183 and leave a message in the general message center so your question can be answered.

As you clean up this spring, start collecting and categorizing items for recycling. You’ll feel good about making sure that potentially hazardous materials are disposed of safely and responsibly and aren’t a problem for future generations to solve.

Judy Wright is the senior agricultural specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Seneca County. For more information, visit or call (315) 539-9251 ext. 109.