Oswego County Legislature Chairman's Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 13, 2007

Young and Old Alike Can Celebrate Earth Day All Year-Round

As the large piles of snow have melted over the past few weeks, it's evident that there is much cleanup to be done along our roadsides and across our county. I have designated April 21 through 29 as Earth Week in Oswego County, and I encourage everyone to set aside a few hours during this period for a cleanup activity.

Many people have already started by picking up garbage and recyclables along roadsides and in their neighborhoods. Families can make it a family activity by selecting their favorite park or playground area to clean up.

The Oswego County Environmental Management Council (EMC) is coordinating cleanup activities across the county. Groups that register with the EMC can receive clear plastic trash bags and work gloves, thanks to the county Department of Buildings and Grounds and Novelis Corporation. To register, call EMC Earth Week coordinator Dick Drosse at 343-4565 or download a registration form from the county Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/planning.shtml

We can also have an impact on our environment by recycling and composting.

In addition to conserving natural resources and energy costs, recycling helps to save valuable space in our county landfill. It also generates revenue for the county. The county earns about $100,000 to $120,000 a year from the sale of recyclables that are collected at the transfer stations.

More than 7,500 tons of paper, cardboard, and plastic, glass and metal containers are collected annually at the Bristol Hill, Hannibal, Hastings, Oswego and Pulaski transfer stations. County residents may also bring office paper, scrap metal, dry cell batteries, and used motor oil to the transfer stations. For a complete list of recyclable materials and instructions on how to process them, contact the County Department of Solid Waste, phone 591-9200, or visit the county Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/dsw

Composting is another practice that conserves valuable landfill space. The county operates a 2-acre paved composing facility at the Bristol Hill Landfill in Volney. Yard wastes, trees and brush are accepted. The finished product, yard waste compost, is a mixture of leaves, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable wastes which has matured for more than a year. Finished compost can be mixed with soil and used for planting flower and vegetable gardens. It will be available free of charge to county residents in late spring.

Later this year, on June 9 and Sept. 15, the county will sponsor household hazardous waste collection events. Pesticides, insecticides, paints and other hazardous waste materials will be collected and safely disposed of in compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.

Oswego County is blessed with natural resources that we treasure all year-round. We can each make a difference by disposing of waste responsibly and working together to keep areas free of litter and debris.

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