Recycling

Dan Lilkas-Rain Named State Recycler of the Year for 2016!



Dan Lilkas-Rain, Recycling Coordinator for the Town of Bethlehem, was named the top New York State Recycler for 2016 in Cooperstown on Nov. 4. Continue reading...

Food Scraps Composting Pilot:  Please take our brief, confidential survey to learn more and help our efforts!

  More about food scraps composting in Town:  http://townofbethlehem.org/609/Food-Scraps

Bethlehem has a proud tradition of resident participation in our award-winning recycling programs. The Town achieved an excellent 66% residential recycling/composting (“waste diversion”) rate as of 2014!

We have led the way with household hazardous waste and electronics programs, our yard waste collection and composting program is unparalleled in the region, and most recently the Town has begun helping lead the state in clothing and textile reuse and recycling, including receiving an EPA award and State Senate Legislative Resolution.

Why Recycle?
Recycling is beneficial to our community, the environment and the economy. It’s also required by law for all businesses and residents. We have made good progress, but there is still a long way to go before reaching Town and State goals for recycling.

What to Recycle?
Certain items must be recycled by law, and there are a variety of other items that should be reused, recycled or composted. List of mandatory and other recyclables for all businesses and residents in the Town of Bethlehem.

How and Where to Recycle?

Single Stream Recycling


The private waste haulers in town now collect recyclable materials together in one single stream container (see slideshow about the single stream recycling facility). In addition to the standard recyclables, there are several more types of items that can now be accepted for recycling including:

  • Rigid plastics can now be recycled in single stream and (milk crates, buckets, flower pots, hard plastic toys, all-plastic parts from tools and household items, etc.).
  • All plastic containers clean of contaminants can be recycled (with a few exceptions, which include polystyrene/styrofoam, and very small items like straws, plastic utensils, etc.—these items are not recyclable with the single stream system)
  • Plastic store bags and plastic film (shrink wrap, dry cleaning bags, etc.) should be recycled at larger retail stores along with their store plastic bag recycling programs, not placed in your single stream container
  • Softcover and hardcover books can now be recycled along with all other types of paper and cardboard, including the lids from pizza boxes.
Please follow the hauler’s instruction sheet and/or sticker on the can lid about what materials can be placed in that bin and how that should occur.


Separated Materials


The Town’s Transfer Station remains a “dual stream” facility, where different categories of materials are separated by residents and businesses before recycling at the station. This allows for significantly less contamination than with single stream, and can provide valuable revenue for the town by material type.

  • Plastic containers (almost all types are now recycled - see the chart), glass bottles and jars, and metal cans are commingled together in one container
  • Mixed paper includes newspapers, magazines / catalogs, school and office paper
  • Corrugated cardboard (flattened), brown paper bags, and single layer boxes (“paperboard”) are recycled together.


Success Stories


Bethlehem’s Third Annual Spring Recycling Event Sees Record Attendance

805 households bring 50,730 pounds (over 25 tons) for reuse and recycling

The Town of Bethlehem’s third annual “Spring Recycle Fest” on Saturday, April 8 broke previous records with 805 households participating to drop of approximately 50,730 lbs (or more than 25 tons) of materials, which averages out to nearly 6 lbs. for every household in the entire Town! Over $2,000 in donations were also raised to support Bethlehem Central School District Environmental Programs.

The event was a collaboration between the Town of Bethlehem Recycling/Sanitation, Highway, and Senior Services Departments, Bethlehem Central School District Green Team, the Delmar Farmer's Market, Grassroot Givers, Up-Stitch, American Clothing Company, JGS Recycling, Cascade Recovery and 3N Document Destruction.
“We had over three dozen community volunteers again this year including many students from BCSD, representatives from each of our event partners, and additional community volunteers, including new this year—American National/Farm Family Insurance Company employees and their families (the company also did an employee collection just prior to the event which was included in event totals). Collaborating with each of these community organizations and volunteers allows us to save an amazing amount of valuable materials from the landfill in just a few hours, with very minimal Town costs,” said Town of Bethlehem Recycling Coordinator Dan Lilkas-Rain.
Recycle Fest 2017 Volunteers
“I’d like to thank these volunteers and each of our partner organizations, the hundreds of residents who helped celebrate Earth Day (a bit early) by participating, Highway Superintendent Brent Meredith and Director of Senior Services Jane Sanders, and especially BCSD Green Team coordinator Mark Warford and members Erin Engleson and Kate Kloss for their support and hours of hands-on volunteering,” Lilkas-Rain added.
Recycle Fest 2016 - Textiles
Individual categories of materials collected at the event include clothing, textiles and footwear: 7,384 lbs. collected for reuse and recycling (wearable clothing will be worn by those in need, non-wearable clothing/non-reusable textiles will be cut into wiping rags or shredded into fiber for use as auto sound insulation, stuffing in items such as pet beds and stuffed animals, carpet padding, etc.). Residents can continue to donate clothing, footwear and other textiles for reuse or recycling throughout the year (such as linens, stuffed animals, loose fabric, backpacks, and even ripped, stained or damaged items like missing
buttons or a broken zipper—as long as they are not wet or contaminated) as part of “Re-Clothe NY,” a statewide campaign to promote clothing and textile recycling; visit www.nytextiles.org.  Collection bins are located throughout Town, including the bins at the Elm Ave. CDTA Park and Ride, the Kenwood Avenue Municipal Parking Lot near Four Corners (next to Hughes Opticians), and the Town’s Rupert Road Transfer Station. Proceeds from these locations benefit the Town. There is an additional blue bin at the Bethlehem Central Middle School parking lot that benefits the school’s green initiatives.

Books: In addition to 7,560 lbs of books and cardboard gathered for recycling by Cascade Recovery, Grassroot Givers and volunteers sorted out three vanloads full of high quality titles with reuse value (estimated 3,000 lbs total).

Recycle Fest 2017  Book Recycling

Residents are instructed that they can continue to recycle books, mixed paper and cardboard throughout the year at the Cascade Recovery dumpsters at the Elm Ave CDTA Park and Ride, as well as at the back of the Town Municipal Parking lot on Kenwood Avenue mentioned above. More details.

Shredded documents for recycling: About 8,500 lbs of secure shredding was done on-site by 3N Document Destruction of Clifton Park. This material is baled and sent to a paper mill for recycling back into paper products, according to 3N co-owner Dave Neville. The next FREE shredding event for Town residents/BCSD taxpayers is part of the America Recycles Day collection event on Sat. Nov. 18 from 10 AM – 1 PM at the Bethlehem Central Middle School.

Electronics, appliances and scrap metal: 21,606 lbs were collected for recycling by JGS Recycling of Waterford. Residents can continue to recycle electronics, appliances and scrap metal items (some fees apply) throughout the year at the Town’s Rupert Road Transfer Station.

NEW this year—sewing and knitting supplies: Up-Stitch, a new local nonprofit creative reuse organization, was overwhelmed with three carloads and a minivan full of sewing and knitting supply donations (estimated at 400 lbs total). For ongoing donation information, visit www.up-stitch.com.

Recycle Fest 2017 - Knitting and Sewing Supplies
NEW this year—plastic toys: Numerous plastic toys were collected for reuse by the American Clothing Recycling Company, and an additional 2,280 pounds of toys were recycled by the Town.
Recycle Fest 2017 - Plastic Toys

For more information about Town of Bethlehem recycling visit www.townofbethlehem.org or contact Dan Rain, Recycling Coordinator: email recycle@townofbethlehem.org or call 439-4955 ext. 1510.  For BCSD Green Team details visit www.bethlehemschools.org/green-team/.


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