Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Recycling Prep

Tomorrow is the day the recyclables are picked up in Hudson by Department of Public Works. Since policies regarding recycling have changed, it may be useful to rehearse what can be recycled and what is trash, so readers can avoid having their recycling rejected. 

An explanation of the recent changes in recycling policy is now on the City of Hudson website. A link is provided there to the list of what can be recycled and what cannot. That list can also be viewed by clicking here. One significant change that may surprise conscientious recyclers is that recycling can no longer be placed in clear plastic bags. Plastic bags of all sorts are verboten. Instead, items for recycling must be placed in a bin that is emptied and left at the site.

After studying the list, I realized that there were some things I regularly recycle that were not on the list of "Acceptable Items": clear plastic containers. So, I took this picture of three such items retrieved from my recycling bin and sent it to DPW superintendent Rob Perry, asking if these were acceptable items.

His response was, "The single stream recycler may sort them out, but we won't." He stressed that anything put out to be recycled--peanut butter jars, yogurt containers, aluminum pans, cat food cans, whatever--must be clean. So, wash out those empty containers before putting them in your recycling bin and avoid rejection.


  1. The City's list of acceptable and not acceptable recycling items is lifted from the County's Solid Waste Dept. webpage. Don't be surprised if there are certain items you cannot find on either list -- they are incomplete, and show a lack of effort from both departments. They could do so much better, but it seems that the County is all about making money from all the trash they accept and DPW/Mr. Perry are tired of suddenly having to pay so much more for recycling. Recycling is not truly important to either department -- it's as if there is no trash problem here in New York State.
    The plastics with #s 1-7 on the bottom should be featured somewhere on the lists -- the numbers tell what type of plastic it is (the clear containers in the photo have a # on the bottom). Also, what about aseptic boxes (soups, kids juices, etc) and milk and juice containers made of coated paper that are so prevalent in grocery stores? Again, nowhere on the lists. There are likely more missing items.
    My prediction: within 2 years recycling will no longer be an option in Hudson, possibly the entire County. It is failing, and placing all our stuff in one bin/bag is the main culprit. It is simply too expensive to deal with and too much contamination is involved, even without plastic bags. If the planet is to survive we must REDUCE our consumption of disposables (which is just about everything). Recycling is a band-aid that is no longer sticking.

  2. I would like to know what will be done with the various bags that have been tagged in my alley that have not been addressed by Zombie Property owners. Will that continue to sit there and just rot? We now have a skunk family that my son almost ran into last night on his bike coming home that were feasting on leftover "tagged bags".