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New York State mandates that solid waste be handled in the following manner: reduce, reuse, recycle, landfill, and, lastly, waste to energy. The following page summarizes local solid waste contacts, facilities, and programs offered in Western New York.
If you have any questions or comments on solid waste management, please call the Department of Environment and Planning at (716) 858-6800. See below for ways to handle common household items.
- It’s not a question of whether to recycle your old cell phone, but rather how. You help the environment by properly recycling your phone because cell phones contain a number of hazardous substances that can seriously impact the environment. A good source to review these options is through the Earth 911 website.
- There are a number of organizations that collect cell phones to raise money. For example, the Buffalo Zoo works with Eco-Cell who pays up to $10 per digital phone. They, in turn, ensure that most of these cell phones and their accessories will be reused or properly recycled. To find out more about this program, go to the Buffalo Zoo Eco-cell webpage.
- View a listing of local places to recycle your cell phone
Clothing and Textiles
Take a look at what happens to unwearable textiles when they are recycled.
Click image to download pdf. Source: SMART: Secondary Materials And Recycled Textiles
Did you know Erie County is part of the WNY Coalition for Donated Goods?
For more information contact Gary Carrel at (716) 858-4805 or email@example.com
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL)
- According to the US Department of Energy, the CFL uses approximately 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website has good information on these bulbs.
- To find out where to recycle your CFL, visit the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority website.
- For information on where to recycle computer and electronics equipment in Erie County, please visit our Electronics Recycling Page or call the Department of Environment and Planning at (716) 858-6800.
- Check out the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for more information about eCycling.
Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Collection
Hazardous Waste Disposal for Businesses, Municipalities, Schools and Agencies
The Erie County CESQG Hazardous Waste Program is a service providing a convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally acceptable method of disposal for generators of small amounts of hazardous waste. Any Western New York business, municipality, school, school district, or other agency that meets the requirements of the regulations for a CESQG as defined in 6NYCRR Part 372 may participate.
A CESQG generates less than:
1 Kg/month of acute hazardous waste or
100 Kg/month of a listed and/or characteristic hazardous waste (100 Kg is approximately 220 pounds or 25 gallons of liquid) and
Never stores more than 1000 Kg at any time
How do I get started?
If you would like more information about participating in the CESQG Program, please contact Erie County at 716-858-4805 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will discuss your waste disposal issues and help find the best solution. We will also provide you with the Certification form which guides you through the process.
How does it work?
When you return the completed Certification form detailing the types and amounts of each hazardous waste, disposal costs will be calculated. If you agree to the disposal costs, you will be assigned an appointment to drop-off your waste (usually Spring or Fall collection). Payment is due at the drop-off. Participants are responsible for transporting their own waste to the collection site. New York State regulations allow CESQG participants to haul up to 100 Kg of hazardous waste. Erie County contracts with a licensed hazardous waste company to take the wastes to a State-approved facility.
Read the product label and SDS to identify any hazardous ingredients. Products labeled: “poison”, “toxic”, “warning”, “danger”, “caution”, “combustible”, “corrosive”, “flammable”, “reactive” require proper disposal.
Does it Save Money?
YES! Cost savings are realized from the economy of scale resulting from multiple generators disposing together at one drop-off site. You also save by transporting your waste and avoiding the cost of contracting with a hazardous waste disposal firm.
Pharmaceutical Waste (Medications)
Recent news about the detection of prescription drugs in drinking water has caused concern about the impact on human health. Also, storing expired and unwanted medications in your home increases the risk of accidental poisoning. Help protect our water and your safety by disposing of medicines properly through collection and incineration.Please visit the Erie County Department of Health website for information about proper disposal.