All About Recycling

Always Under Construction - Please Contribute!

We welcome your suggestions! 
Please note that cross-referencing this information is complicated and
is too large of a project for us to take on at this time.  This means it may take
a little longer to find all of the information about a particular item you may be
researching; which we regret, but cannot do anything about at this time.

SEEKING:  Information on recycling "aseptic" packs -- those
lined, waxy cardboard boxes that soups, beverages, and sometimes milk come in.  Any thoughts or resources you can share?
BREAKING NEWS September 2012: St. Lawrence County ONLY now accepts aseptic packages as well as milk, juice, and broth cartons! 

You are welcome to share this information, in whole or in part, but we ask that you always include the Sources and our Disclaimer when you do so please, as well as crediting this Site.

If you use this information and develop anything further that we can make use of for others,
please do share with us!  Thank You!

Interested in important plastic recycling facts? take a closer look at the detrimental effects of plastic and why the simple act of recycling can make all the difference with Our Plastic Nightmare, a graphic provided by Online Education

Always verify information before acting on it.  Things change, and we are dependent on information we have researched but cannot guarantee as accurate in all instances at all times.  Verify before you commit!

Many Thanks
to the staff at DANC for their help in putting together this information - please check their website for the most up to date information on issues in our County (St. Lawrence - but they also deal with Clinton & Lewis Counties.)  



Acceptable Items for Recycling
Items NOT Accepted for Recycling
Handling "Sharps"
Recycling (& Landfill) Locations
Hazardous Waste Collection
Rechargeable Batteries
Recycling Locations for Rechargeables
Electronic Waste
DEC Open Burning Regulations
Reduce * Reuse * Recycle For Kids

Special Note:
Single Use (Alkaline) Batteries

The Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County transfer stations have just recently started accepting all single use batteries for recycling.  The counties have now found a recycling opportunity with a metal recycling company, according to the Development Authority of the North Country (5/11/2012)

At the homeowner level, you should not put these batteries in the recycle bin for the trash collector to take. They must be kept separate and either delivered to any county recycling facility (see links below) or to one of the six yearly household Hazardous Waste collection events held throughout the area (see notice below). 

Hazardous Waste collection events advertise that single use batteries are NOT allowed, which is true to an extent -- they (the hazardous waste company hired by the County) will only collect rechargeable, not single use batteries.  However, the County will be in attendance and  WILL take your single use batteries for recycling -- so be sure you get them to the right entity at these events. 

Safety First:  Always take care with these batteries that they are stored in such a way that the ends cannot come in contact with each other -- it is possible this can start a fire!

Good to Know:  Since-1996, the amount of mercury has been greatly reduced (to less than 10% of the previous amounts apparently) but there is still some small amount of mercury in alkaline batteries.  Some alkaline batteries have zero-added mercury, and several mercury-free, heavy-duty, carbon-zinc (or zinc-carbon) batteries are on the market.  Check the labels.  No ADDED mercury does not mean NO mercury, by the way!

From Wiki:  When introduced in the 1960s, alkaline batteries contained a small amount of mercury amalgam to control side reactions at the zinc cathode. Improvements in the purity and consistency of materials have allowed manufacturers to reduce the mercury content in modern cells.[14] Unlike other types of batteries, alkaline batteries are allowed to be disposed of as regular domestic waste in some locations. This, however, may not be [NOTE: the SLP would say "is" not "may"] environmentally friendly, as some alkaline batteries produced before 1996 contain mercury.[15][16]

For example the state of California has deemed all batteries as hazardous waste when discarded, and has banned the disposal of batteries with other domestic waste.[17] In the US, one company shreds and separates the battery case metals, manganese and zinc.[6] Another company mixes batteries in as a feedstock in steel making furnaces, to make low-grade steel such as rebar; the zinc fumes are recovered separately.[7] In Europe battery disposal is controlled by the WEEE regulations, and as such alkaline batteries must not be thrown in with domestic waste. They should be disposed through local recycling stations/waste dumps. In the EU most stores that sell batteries are required by law to accept old batteries for recycling.  End Wiki.

* * * * * * *
One last thought on the issue?  What you don't buy in the first place does not need to be recycled.  Recycling is better than NOT, but it is perpetuating a system of consumption that's not sustainable. 
'Nuff said.


(but a picture is worth a thousand words)  :-)
Plastic Bag Monster, Slovenia

St. Lawrence, Clinton & Lewis Counties


  • Plastic bottles, Containers & Tubs with symbols 1-7
  • Containers should be empty and rinsed
    • No Styrofoam (even with symbol)
    • No plastic bags (Grocery bags - return to stores)
    • No automotive oil containers


  • Bottles & Jars (No need to separate by colors)
  • Containers should be empty and rinsed
    • No windows, plate glass, mirrors, broken glass
    • No dishes and drinking glasses
    • No ceramic dishes, clay pots, etc.
    • No light bulbs (fluorescent tubes and the "swirly-looking" CF (compact fluorescent) bulbs can be disposed of at waste transfer stations for a fee of 60 cents per CF bulb and 10 cents per foot of the tubes. Also, high pressure sodium mercury $6.35 each)


  • Tin food cans
  • Aluminum food & beverage cans
  • Aluminum pans and foil
  • Containers should be empty and rinsed

Mixed Paper

  • Office & copier paper
  • Junk mail and envelopes
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines & catalogues
  • Shredded paper
  • Telephone books
  • Paperback books—No hardcover books unless the covers are removed
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Cereal & Food Boxes (please keep these items separate from other mixed paper in Jefferson County)  
    • No paper cups, plates, tissue & toilet paper
    • No toilet paper, diapers, used napkins.paper towels
    • No carbon paper


  • Corrugated cardboard boxes
    • No wax, plastic, styrofoam or metal coatings

NEW! Sept. 2012

  • Milk, juice, broth, aseptic packaging

Electronic Waste

  • Computers (includes cables and cords)
  • Televisions
  • Small Scale Servers
  • Monitors
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Fax Machines
  • Scanners
  • Printers
  • VCRs
  • DVRs
  • Portable Digital Music Players
  • DVD Players
  • Digital Converter Boxes
  • Cable or Satellite Receivers
  • Electronic or Video Game Consoles

See also the ELECTRONIC WASTE section below for items that can be returned to retail locations and for information on recycling them at local transfer stations.

Rechargeable Batteries

  • Nickel-cadmium
  • Sealed lead
  • Lithium ion
  • Nickel metal hydride
  • Any other such dry cell battery capable of being recharged
  • Battery packs containing any of the above mentioned batteries

    Important - rechargeable batteries must be recycled separately from regular recyclables as "hazardous waste"!  You can be fined if not.  See the list below for dates and locations of Hazardous Waste collection.

Single Use Batteries:  Alkaline, Lithium
Conflicting information!  We have found recommendations that these items should be put in the recycle bin and then, elsewhere, in the trash (landfill) bin!  See the Special Note in first section of this page above.

White Goods (stoves, refrigerators, etc.) 
At local transfer stations, there is a fee of $25 each piece for reclamation of the freon.  Releasing the freon does not affect the charge and is illegal.  A certificate must be supplied showing it was done properly in order to avoid the disposal fee.  See the list of items included as White Goods here:

Scrap Metal
Scrap Metal is any metal larger than your average home recycling; e.g., tin cans, etc.  You can be paid for metal taken to your transfer station
  Scrap metal rates change every month so check it out.  In St. Lawrence County call 315-268-6349.

Can be recycled at most automotive shops when you buy replacement tires.  A fee may apply, though it's usually folded in to the cost of the replacement tire. 
If you have random tires you need to dispose of you can take them to your transfer station.  They will charge you $5 for each car-type tire, $12 for larger tires.  They are recycled in Canada at this writing (5/2012).

Recycling Cartons and Aseptic Packs
The locations in St. Lawrence County that do recycle these containers can be found here.

It may be wise to confirm that this is true, as it was noted by us that Potsdam accepted them at a time that Canton did not -- but it appears that this situation has been reversed, according to this information.

If you live too far from a community that recycles these cartons, you have the option to mail them to a recycler, at your expense,  For the nearest one to you see this page

Also, the School Carton Recycling Guide contains all the information you need to start a carton recycling program at your own school.

Cartons accepted for recycling include all “gable top” cartons commonly used for milk and orange juice, as well as other pourable liquid cartons, including drink boxes and the larger size of "aseptic packs" used for soup, broth and wine. This includes "Gable Top" cartons (1/2 gallon and small or milk, for instance) and Pourable Liquid cartons such as soup, broth, juice (remove pouches if applicable) and winePlease do NOT include any juice pouches, trash, or other recyclables.


St. Lawrence, Clinton & Lewis Counties

If you live in a Village or otherwise contract out your trash/recycling hauling you can ask your hauler which items they will not take.  There are some items that you will need to deliver to the transfer station personally if you wish to dispose of them appropriately and/or do not want to break down to go with the landfill trash.

No liquids of any kind, paints, oils or any "hazardous" materials.  See the Hazardous Materials collection dates below.

Liquid paint cans can only be recycled if the paint is removed and the remnants left in the can are dry.  To dispose of the paint itself, pour it into a collection of rags, used kitty litter (why waste fresh stuff), or similar material that will absorb the paint.  Allow it to dry thoroughly and dispose of in the landfill trash

Motor oil can go back to any automotive shop; they are required to accept it.

Smoke detectors
can be sent back to the manufacturer (see Three Steps for electronics below). They are not accepted, even at the Hazardous Materials collections.

Large plastic items, such as children's playthings, can not be recycled in our region even if they have a recycling symbol.  There is no equipment to handle it.  They are "landfill trash."

                                                          Proper Handling of "Sharps"

Did you know that needles (hypodermic syringes) are handled at least five times before final disposal?  Most folks don't.  Needles help many people obtain the medicines they need, but needles can be very dangerous to handle.

Click here to get a brochure with much important information about how to properly dispose of used needles.



St. Lawrence, Clinton & Lewis Counties

Transfer & Waste Station Locations

Please check with your transfer station on separation requirements and any other special requirements.
Some recycling centers may accept additional items not listed as "acceptable" above.

Casella Waste in Potsdam

These are the fees you will be charged (subject to change!), based on weight, for bringing items to your transfer station personally.  See elsewhere for what is and what is not considered landfill trash (charged at one rate), recyclables (charged at about half the rate) and other items such as scrap metal, tires, light bulbs, etc.

Mixed Recycling  0 - 180 pounds = $8 minimum + 4 cents a pound over 180 pounds. 
Landfill Trash      0 - 200 pounds = $18 + 9 cents a pound over (or a flat $170 ton for lg loads.) )

Bag or Tag Fees  Some County Transfer Stations and haulers may use a per bag or per tag fee system.  You can see all of the options available to you at each location by clicking through for rates, etc. on the Locations links above, or by contacting your hauler.

More Below!
Keep Scrolling!


Click here for a
 Schedule of Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days 
organized by DANC (Development Authority of the North Country). 

For a poster of what items are and are not included,
click on this link! 
Note that the County may take some materials - such as single use alkaline batteries - even though the Haz Mat people won't!

To enlarge the image you will find at that link, click on it, select CTRL and press the + sign (top right of your keyboard, above the = sign) simultaneously until the image is of an appropriate size for reading. To return to original size press the - (dash, or minus, that is just to the left of the +) sign while holding the CTRL down.



NYS Rechargeable Battery Act (click here) is now in effect.

Fines of up to $200 will be imposed for discarding these batteries in the trash.
Stores that sell rechargeable batteries must accept rechargeable batteries for recycling at no cost to the consumer, or bring them to a certified battery recycling site (see below).

Below are examples of rechargeable batteries covered under this law.

Rechargeable Batteries

Below are examples of items that contain rechargeable batteries

Products containing rechargeable batteries


Each year, Americans throw out almost 180,000 tons of batteries.
About 14,000 of those tons are rechargeable batteries; the rest are single-use.
If we start replacing single-use batteries with rechargeables, we are not only saving money,
but ensuring that fewer batteries end up in landfills as well.

Once rechargeable batteries reach the end of their usable life, recycling is a great option.
Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at no cost to the consumer, ensuring the proper disposal of toxic chemicals often used in these batteries.



Coakley Carpet One Ace Hardware
2535 State Highway 68
Canton, NY 13617

St. Lawrence University                                    

Brewer Bookstore
92 Park Street
Canton, NY 13617

Kinney Drugs Inc
40 State Highway 310
Canton, NY 13617

Triple A Do It Best
25 Commerce Ln
Canton, NY 13617
Other locations may take these items as well, this list is not necessarily exclusive. 
Hazardous waste collection days (above) are the only other place we know of  that accepts rechargeable batteries. 
It is illegal to put rechargeable batteries in the landfill trash or basic recycling; they must go to a specified site. 
Cell phones are usually re-conditioned for programs to provide phones to the home-bound, soldiers, etc.



You can follow the process below to return items to the manufacturer, which may be the more environmentally friendly way to go (assuming some possibility for re-use by the manufacturer?)

However, the Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County transfer stations are registered with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation as collection sites for the electronic equipment covered by the law (see below). They accept the covered electronic equipment at no cost to residents during normal business hours -- however, they must be separated from normal household trash and recycling.

Hazardous waste collection days (above) also accept electronic waste.  It would appear that this would be the option for recycling electronic waste that cannot be returned to the manufacturer and that is not accepted by transfer stations under the law (if your item is not on the list of materials "covered" by the electronic waste law.)

Recycle Your Electronic Waste -- Return to Manufacturer -- in Three Steps:
  1. Go to the DEC's list of electronic equipment manufacturers registered in NYS (PDF) (189 kB), to find manufacturers, their brands of covered electronic equipment, websites and toll-free telephone numbers.
  2. Find the manufacturer's brand of equipment you wish to recycle, and click on that manufacturer's website link or call its listed toll-free telephone number.
  3. Follow the specific instructions listed on the manufacturer's website or provided over the telephone. The manufacturer will provide information on how to recycle your equipment, free of charge. (shipping fee may apply)

New York 2010 Electronic Waste Law:

The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF) (39 kB), requires manufacturers to provide free and convenient recycling of electronic waste to most consumers in the state. It was signed into law by the Governor on May 28, 2010.

Electronic Equipment Covered by the Law:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Small scale servers
  • Computer peripherals (including any cable, cord, or wiring permanently affixed to or incorporated into the computer peripheral.)
    • Monitors
    • Electronic keyboards
    • Electronic mice or similar pointing devices
    • Facsimile machines, document scanners, and printers (only those intended for use with a computer and weighing less than 100 lbs.)
  • Small electronic equipment (including any cable, cord, or wiring permanently affixed to or incorporated into the small electronic equipment.)
    • VCR's
    • Digital video recorders
    • Portable digital music players
    • DVD players
    • Digital converter boxes
    • Cable or satellite receivers
    • Electronic or video game consoles

Manufacturers' Responsibilities to their Consumers:

Manufacturers must provide free and convenient collection to most NYS consumers. Manufacturers may use a variety of collection methods, which means there might not be a physical collection location in your community. Any of the following collection methods may be used:

  • mail or ship back return programs;
  • fixed acceptance locations such as retail stores, sales outlets, not-for-profit organizations, or municipal facilities;
  • community collection events; and
  • any combination of these or other acceptance methods which are reasonably convenient to consumers in the state.

The Law requires a manufacturer of covered electronic equipment to accept:

  • electronic equipment for which it is the manufacturer; and
  • one piece of electronic waste of any manufacturer's brand if offered by the consumer with the purchase of covered electronic equipment of the same type by a consumer.

Frequently Asked Questions: 
                                                                (Scroll to bottom of link page for FAQ's)

Electronics Recycling Carbon Footprint Calculator E-Waste
Interactive online tool to help calculate the benefits of recycling electronics.

Local Recycling Resource E-Waste
A great place to upload what you accept


New York State DEC Open Burning Regulations

 The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation instituted new open burning regulations on October 14, 2009, banning "burn barrels."   It is no longer legal to use any form of burn barrel in NY State.

  Here is a link to the DEC web page with FAQs. 


Reducing Waste for KidsHave you ever wondered how much waste you create every day? If you’re anything like the average person in America, you produce about 4.3 pounds of waste per day. That’s equal to one big pair of men’s hiking boots in your trash every day! Now, multiply 4.3 pounds by the 323 million people in America. That’s 1.3 billion pounds of waste thrown away in America every single day.
The planet Earth needs your help! You can take action today to help make a better tomorrow. A cleaner, greener future for our world starts with you. How can you help? It’s easy!  Click the link in the title above for details, and go green!


SOURCES: the website for DANC in Watertown. MANY THANKS to them for their support in making this webpage happen!  1-800-822-8837  D.E.C. State Law  Informational Site  1-800-690-3219 or 315-265-3860  St. Lawrence Solid Waste Dept