Organics Recycling

Organics refers to both yard trimmings and food scraps.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation places a high priority on managing these materials through reduction, reuse, and recycling, including composting. 

Yard Waste

Yard waste includes leaves, grass clippings, hedge trimmings and garden debris. Uncontaminated yard waste is banned from Monroe County landfills, but once yard waste enters a garbage truck and is mixed with household garbage, it is considered contaminated. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates yard waste comprises, on average, five percent of garbage. Many local municipalities have seasonal programs that handle certain yard waste, diverting it from the landfill and providing a valuable resource.

In Monroe County, 12 towns, 2 villages, and 1 school district own and operate yard waste composting facilities. In most cases, the final compost product is made available for use by local residents or used on local municipal projects. Monroe County owns and operates 2 yard waste composting facilities and all Monroe County residents have access to free compost at the ecopark during regular operating hours. 

Currently the City of Rochester, all 10 villages in the County, and 14 of the 19 towns in the County provide curbside yard waste collection services to their residents. Please contact your municipality for instructions on when and how to place yard waste at the curb for collection (bagged, in container, loose piles etc.).

Organics Recycling Tips

Residents can handle yard and food waste responsibly by:

Grasscycling

  • Just leave clippings on your lawn after mowing or add some to your compost pile
  • Cut only the top 1/3 of your grass at each mowing
  • Cut your grass when it’s dry
  • Keep your mower blade sharp

Christmas Tree Recycling

Many municipalities offer pick up and drop off services for Christmas trees after the holidays.  Trees are ground into woodchips, diverting valuable materials from the landfill for landscaping use by municipalities and residents. For a list of programs/locations where residents may recycle Christmas Trees, click here

Backyard Composting

Composting is nature’s way of breaking down plant materials and recycling them into a valuable product. It is a simple and useful way to reuse your leaves, grass, vegetable and fruit scraps which also helps to:

  • save landfill space
  • conserve water
  • reduce the need for fertilizers by returning nutrients to the soil
  • grow healthier plants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has designed a poster detailing the proper way to compost household yard waste and food scraps. Click here to view.or visit their website for additional resources.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County (585 753-2550) also has detailed information and composting resources avilable here

Curbside Composting Service

A private company is currently offering curbside collection of food waste for composting in a limited market area. Click here for details on this service.

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