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New Year Brings About Changes to Cortland County Recycling Center

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As a giant orb of lights reaches the bottom of its drop from the clocktower at Midnight, some highly anticipated changes to Cortland County’s recycling system will simultaneously take effect that require residents to begin making some changes of their own.

The county legislature voted in December 2018 by a near unanimous vote to retake control of the recycling center by ending a contract with Casella Waste Management, which required a one-year termination notice that officially ends today (December 31, 2019).

All glass is now required to be separated from other recyclable materials before being collected by your roadside hauler or brought to the center, moving the county from a “one-stream” to a “two-stream” recycling system.

Glass has proven to be extremely damaging to machines that sort materials once they get to the recycling center.

It also provides little value as a sellable raw material, especially compared to the expenses it creates through required maintenance and services to these machines.

Some municipalities have made other arrangements with their haulers to provide their residents a way to avoid having to bring their recyclables in themselves.

Cortland Common Council approved a resolution earlier this months that still requires residents to separate their glass, but employs a modified system in which glass materials will be picked up during the first week of each month only.

Non-glass recyclables will be collected on the other weeks, with specific pickup days otherwise staying the same.

As for plastic materials, county residents are asked to recycle only items that come with caps, lids or tops.

Those tops should be discarded before the container’s recycled. Styrofoam and single-use plastic containers will not be accepted.

For more information on the changes and what will and won’t be accepted, visit the county website here.


The recycling center will also operate during new hours, effective January 2, 2020.

Monday – Friday from 7am to 3:30pm

Saturday from 8am to Noon

The recycling center will be closed tomorrow for the New Year holiday.

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