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What is Recycling?

Recycling defined:

The US Environmental Protection Agency defines recycling as "a series of activities that includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers, and manufacturing raw materials into new products."



                                              The universal recycling symbol


Village of Ossining Recycles

The Village of Ossining recycled more than 14,000 tons of material in 2012, including paper, commingled containers, and bulk metals. An additional  Fall leaves and mixed organic yard waste were recycled as well.

More Information on Recycling in Ossining

How does the recycling process in Ossining work?

Recycling within the Village involves both the Village Department of Public Works (DPW) and Westchester County. The County works with all 45 municipalities to process recyclables on a regional level. Here is how recycling works in Ossining:

  • During the week, commingled and paper recyclables are placed curbside by residents for collection on alternate Wednesdays.
  • DPW picks up the recyclables and transports them to the Roa Hook Transfer Station in the Town of Cortlandt. This facility contains a large bifurcated tipping floor, with one side for commingled recyclables and the other for paper. Upon arrival, the items are dumped, weighed, and are then loaded into trucks operated by Westchester County for transfer to the County's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), located in Yonkers.  Paper and commingled recyclables are transported to the MRF in separate trucks.
  • At the MRF, the materials are separated, sorted, and prepared to be sold to third party manufacturers. The manufacturers then recycle the materials into new end products.



                                           Westchester County MRF in Yonkers

Where can I find more information on recycling in the Village?

Please see the Village of Ossining Department of Public Works for information on recyclable and non-recyclable items, how to recycle bulk and miscellaneous items, used oil and antifreeze, and other useful facts.

What else can you do to help?

Recycle, recycle, recycle!

The most important thing that you can do is to keep recycling. Knowing the recycling schedule, the items to recycle and the correct way to recycle them will get you 90% of the way there. Once you are familiar with these, just remember to place your items at the curb every week for pickup. Remember, items should be placed loosely in recycling bins. Do not put items into plastic bags before putting them into the recycling bins. Items that are placed into plastics bags will be discarded as solid waste once they reach the Materials Recovery Facility in Yonkers and not recycled.

What about leaves and other yard waste?

Grass clippings, leaves, and other organic yard waste should be put into either 30 gallon biodegradable paper bags or in an open trash bin marked "Organic Waste" and placed at the curbside on designated days. 
Paper bags are available at local hardware stores, grocery stores, and at the Ossining Operations Center. Please see the Village of Ossining Department of Public Works for a pickup schedule and further information.

What other ways are there to recycle?

Recycling doesn't have to involve only what the Village of Ossining collects for recycling.  Items that you want to discard which still have a useful life can be kept out of the waste stream entirely.    

Here's how.  Use the internet, newspapers, or local organizations that collect items such as:


  • Freecycle - an  internet-based service in which members join a local group and post ads for items they wish to acquire or give away. Freecycle is based around the idea of localized trading networks. Users join a local network and are then able to browse and post ads online.
  • Freeshare - a local networking based service similar to Freecycle.
  • Westchester Treasure Hunt  - Part of Westchester County?s Used But Usable Clearinghouse, this is a free online data bank maintained by Westchester County. You can also call 914-813-5415 for further information. 

Local organizations:

IFCA's Spring Street Exchange, located at the corner of Spring Street and Broad Avenue in Ossining, accepts donations of clothing and other household items for resale at reasonable prices. (914) 941-5252

The Furniture Sharehouse operates county-wide and provides basic home furnishings to those in need. They will come directly to your home to pick up furniture, which is then stored in a warehouse until distributed through one of their member agencies. (914) 834-1294

Other ways to recycle:

Westchester County has a Household Materials Recovery facility

Westchester County sponsors disposing of hazardous household and gardening chemicals, oil-based products (not including paints), waste automotive fluids, car batteries, car tires and battery types prohibited for curbside pickup. For more information, see the link above or call the Westchester County Household Chemical Info Line at (914) 813-5425.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs cannot be discarded in the trash due to the mercury contained within the bulbs.  Fortunately, Home Depot now allows recycling of CFL bulbs at all of its locations. See this link for more information: Home Depot Eco Options

Used toner and inkjet cartridges can be recycled at office supply stores such as Office Depot and Staples. Please see the Village DPW Newsletter for a list of other companies that will accept used print cartridges for recycling.

Cell phone batteries can be recycled at local cell phone stores as well as at Radio Shack.

Plastic grocery bags can be recycled by bringing them back to your local grocery store. Some stores will offer a reimbursement of several cents per recycled bag.

Since recyclables end up being re-used in consumer products, what kinds of items contain recycled material?

There are more than 4,500 recycled-content products available, and this number continues to grow. In fact, many of the products we regularly purchase contain recycled materials. When shopping, look for goods that contain post-consumer recycled content - many of them will state this on the packaging. Items to look for include:

  • Office paper
  • Packaging materials
  • Tissue, napkins, toilet paper, and paper towels
  • Carpeting
  • Flooring
  • Insulation
  • Rubber mats
  • Trash bags
  •  Mulch

Additional online recycling resources:




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