The New York City Department of Sanitation announced late last week that it would resume collecting items for recycling this past Sunday, just in time for America Recycles Day on November 15. The regular collection had been halted since Super Storm Sandy hit on October 29 so that trucks could be directed to assist in clean-up of hard-hit New York City areas.
This week, curbside recycling of cardboard, paper, metals, glass and plastics will begin to return to normal pick-up schedules. In addition, the U.S. EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Suffolk County have announced that drop-off locations are set up to collect and dispose of potentially hazardous household products from damaged homes. “The EPA is urging people to separate potentially hazardous products from their regular trash and bring them to one of the newly established drop-off locations or place them on the curb in areas with curbside pickup,” said EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, in a statement. Hazardous household products include cleaning products, solvents, automotive products such as motor oil and antifreeze, batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, insecticides and pesticides. Check with your local pharmacy or police department for advice on safely disposing of prescription medications.
A storm of this magnitude only brings to light the importance of keeping your household products – especially the more hazardous ones – organized. The beginning of both spring and fall is a good time to review these products and properly dispose of those items that are no longer needed. This will ultimately better protect you and the environment in case of a disaster.