This department develops and implements programs and policies that relate to the collection, transportation and disposal of waste material within the town. Waste Management is responsible for drafting legislation and administering local policy and/or State and Federal mandates relating to solid and liquid waste and is dedicated to protecting the environment from adverse effects with regard to the improper disposal of waste. The department manages residential curbside collection of solid waste, recyclables and yardwaste townwide. It oversees the collection and treatment of liquid waste at the wastewater treatment plant and the two sewer systems in the town. It monitors and maintains the closed landfill in East Northport and observes and monitors waste flow into the Resource Recovery Facility. The department runs the Recycling Center and Hazardous Household Waste Facility accept residential waste for recycling or special handling.
Links to documents of interest:
Environmental Waste Mgmt
Rules for Collections: Do's and Don'ts
2013 Trash & Recycling Calendar Jan - Dec 2012 - 2013 Yardwaste Collection Schedule
How to Dispose of Medical Sharps and Expired Medications
Refuse District map
Appliance and Metal Trash Collection Rules
Huntington Village Night Collection Business Curbside Recycling Program
Huntington's Drop-off Recycling Center
Kubecka Organic Garden Rules
Landfill Drop Off Site Information
Mulching Grass Clippings On Your Lawn Information
NYS Laws On Electronics Recycling And Disposal Ban
NYS Rechargeable Battery Disposal Ban
Oversized Garbage Can Ban for Curbside Pick Up
Proper Disposal of Compact Fluorescent Lights
Proper Disposal Paint Cans with Paint
Reuseable Shopping Bags: Why They Matter
Rules for Bulk Trash Pick Up
Rules For Collection of Yardwaste
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Q. How do I get a new recycling (blue) bin?
A. The Town gave out recycling bins when curbside recycling was first initiated. If your recycling bin needs to be replaced, you can purchase any container (32 gallons or less) and affix a recycling sticker to it. Recycling stickers can be obtained at all Huntington Township Library branches, at the Recycling Center (641 New York Avenue, Huntington) and in the lobby of Town Hall (100 Main Street, Huntington).
Q. What do I do with paint cans?
A. Oil based paint cans that have some paint left in them can be taken to the Recycling Center (641 New York Avenue, Huntington) on Saturdays between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Water or latex-based paint cans that have paint left in the can should either (a) Leave the lid left off to allow the paint to dry up, or (b) Be filled with cat litter to absorb any excess paint. Then place the cans in with your trash for collection.
Q. Are old books recyclable?
A. Paper back & telephone books are recyclable and can be placed at the curb with other paper recyclables. Hard covered or bound books are not recyclable and can be put out with your normal trash.
Q. Where is the Recycling Center?
A. The Recycling Center is located at 641 New York Avenue, Huntington. The phone number is (631) 427-6377.
Q. Where is the Resident's Drop Off Site?
A. The resident's drop off site is operated by the Town of Smithtown and is located at 85 Old Northport Road, Kings Park. The site is shared, like the Resource Recovery Plant, by both Towns. The Drop Off site will take items like construction & demolition debris, yard waste (excluding grass clippings), appliances, & recyclables. Please call (631) 269-6600 before dropping off debris at this facility.
Q. What do I do with used propane tanks from the barbeque?
A. Carters will NOT take a propane tank left at the curb for removal, even if is empty. To properly dispose of a used propane tank, DO NOT open the valve to release propane left in the tank. It is both dangerous and environmentally unsound to do so. Please bring the tank to the Town's Recycling Center where it may be safely disposed of.
Q. Who is my carter? When is my yard waste pick-up day?
A. In order to properly identify your carter and check on your yard waste collection day, please refer to the map on the back of your recycling calendar. Calendars are available at local libraries, the Recycling Center, and in the main lobby at Town Hall.
Q. Does the Town handle calls about wildlife? (Raccoons, squirrels, birds, etc.)
A. The Town does not handle wildlife problems. We do not trap or remove wildlife. For advice on questions related to wildlife, you may contact Volunteers for Wildlife (631) 423-0982 for suggestions on how to deal with these problems.
Q. Why can't I put out grass clippings for pick-up?
A. According to Huntington Town Code 117-21 (5) "Grass clippings shall not be placed for regularly scheduled collections." This local law makes it illegal to put bagged or loose grass in trash cans at the curb for collection with other curbside collected materials.
Grass clippings quickly decompose and for this reason the Town recommends that residents adopt the "Just Mow It" program into their yard maintenance practices. The Town's annual Trash Pick Up and Recycling Calendar has instructions and tips for this program located above the months of May and June.
These tips include the recommendation of growing the lawn to at least three inches high and removing only one inch when mowing; mowing only when the grass is dry; and leaving the clippings on your lawn as a natural nitrogen rich fertilizer which will reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, among other things.
If a resident does choose to bag their law clippings alternative arrangements have been made. A resident may also take the bagged grass clippings themselves to the Recycling Center (641 New York Ave., Huntington) for disposal. A charge of $1.50 per bag will be collected at the time of drop off.
Q. When do I put out bulk items for collection?
A. Bulk items include sofas, mattresses, carpeting (4 foot lengths - rolled & tied), dressers, rimless tires, etc. You may place up to four bulk items at the curb for collection on your second garbage pick-up day. To dispose of larger items (appliances, water heaters, lawn mowers, etc.) please contact your carter directly.
Q. Why wasn't my garbage picked up today?
A. Prior to contacting your carter, if you feel your garbage wasn't picked up, please refer to the regulation in the Trash Pick Up and Recycling Calendar. If, after reviewing the regulations, please contact the Sanitation Hotline (631) 754-4990 for additional assistance.
Q. Why aren't there more yardwaste weeks? Why wasn't my yardwaste collected on the scheduled day?
A. The contract for residential pick-ups in the Town of Huntington requires 48 yard waste pick-ups per year. Yard waste pick-ups are scheduled for every other week on average, until the early Spring and the Fall. At those peak times, yard waste pick-ups are scheduled for every week. In some areas, yard waste pick-up can be very heavy. In the event your yard waste is not collected on the scheduled date, the carter will make every effort to collect it as soon after that day as possible.
Q. What happens to my recyclables after they are picked up?
A. After your recyclables are picked up at the curb, they are taken to a private recycling facility. If it's bottle and can day, the commingled bottles, cans and plastic containers are loaded onto a conveyor belt for sorting.
First, all "tin" cans are pulled off the conveyor by a magnet (Departmental note: what we commonly call tin cans are not tin at all but are actually steel cans which are lined with a thin layer of tin to prevent rust. The steel cans are magnetic and collected by the magnet). These cans are put into a machine called a baler where they are crushed down and formed into a rectangle about twice the size of a bale of hay. The bales are then shipped to a smelting plant in Pennsylvania where they are melted down and formed into new cans.
Next, all of the pieces of broken glass fall through a screen. The broken glass is the crushed so it is all the same size, about the size of a dime, and it is mixed with asphalt to make new roads. The remaining whole glass jars and bottles are hand sorted by color: clear, green and brown. The sorted glass is then shipped to glass manufacturing plants in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Here, the bottles and jars are crushed into little pieces about the size of a pebble. These pebble like pieces of glass are called cullet. The cullet is melted down at 2,600 degrees and formed into new bottles and jars.
During the formation of a new glass bottle or jar, it is very important not to have any "contaminants" in the mix. Even the smallest piece of ceramic, mirror or pottery can cause a bottle to crack or bubble, rendering it useless.
Plastic is the next material to be picked off the conveyor belt. Each type of plastic is hand sorted by the number stamped into the container with the three chasing recycling arrows around it. These are called resin codes, and they start with 1 and go through 7.
Any container without an imprinted resin code is considered a contaminant and is thrown away. All of the plastic that is not considered a contaminant is shipped to plastic recyclers here on Long Island. Like the other materials, the plastic is melted down and formed into a variety of things such as: plastic lumber, carpet backing, fiber fill for winter jackets, desk accessories or new soda, milk or detergent bottles.
Aluminum cans and fill don't stick to a magnet, and they are the last material left on the conveyor belt. An "eddy current, which is sort of like a magnet in reverse, pops them off the conveyor. The aluminum cans and foil are baled separately and then shipped to an aluminum recycling company in Kentucky where the foil is melted down and made into new foil, and the cans are made into new cans.
If it is "paper day", your commingled newspaper, junk mail, magazines, regular cardboard and corrugated cardboard are all hand separated into three categories. Both types of cardboard and the brown paper shopping bags are put into one pile and are baled. These bales are shipped overseas to a cardboard recycling plant in Spain. Here the bales are ground up with water in a process called pulping, and reformed into new cardboard.
All magazines and glossy paper are put into another pile and put through the baler. Newspaper and junk mail are put into the last pile and are also baled. Both the newspaper and magazine bales are shipped by railroad to a paper mill in Canada.
At the mill, the paper is put through a de-inking process that removes all the pigment from the paper. Then, like the cardboard, it is ground up with water into a mix that looks like cake batter, then reformed into new paper. If there are any contaminants such as glass or metal in the mix, it can cause the equipment to malfunction, or create black spots and streaks in the paper.
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