Rye’s curbside recycling program, carried out in conjunction with Westchester County’s program, has been going strong for well over 20 years.
By Bill Lawyer
Rye’s curbside recycling program, carried out in conjunction with Westchester County’s program, has been going strong for well over 20 years. Our little city has consistently been in the top tier of communities in terms of the ratio of recycled versus garbage pickup.
Over the years, the types of materials that can be picked up for curbside recycling has continued to expand, particularly in the area of plastics and cardboards. One of the major hurdles that continue to limit recycling, however, is that manufacturers and shipping companies keep developing new products, packaging, and coating products. Often these products include some elements that can be recycled with others that cannot.
Some forms of Tyvek and similar products, for example, are made using materials that cannot be recycled. On the other hand, some can be. You have to look closely for a code number. The same is true for plastic clothes hangers.
Another “what-not’s” example that actually covers two recycling aspects is metal (wire) clothes hangers. Most systems, including Westchester’s, will not accept metal hangers in their curbside recycling, because of their shape, which can cause problems with the sorting machinery at the Materials Recovery Facility in Yonkers. Also, many metal hangers are now being coated with a protective, rust-retarding plastic material, which makes recycling more costly.
Rye residents can still recycle these and other hangers, however, through the metal pickup program. Metal pickup is Wednesdays, but residents must call Rye’s DPW (967-7464) at least a day in advance to get on the list.
Before recycling such things, consider following the other two ecological principles: reduce and re-use. Particularly with hangers, many dry cleaners will accept and re-use them, thereby reducing the volume of materials that go into the more costly process of recycling. Or you can ask to have laundry folded instead of put on hangers in the first place.
For the complete details of curbside recycling’s what’s and what-not’s, visit environment. westchestergov.com.