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Recycling @ Grow Amsterdam NY

Public Recycling Workshops and Informational Tables

Grow Amsterdam educates Amsterdam residents about the "What" and the "How" to recycle. Grow Amsterdam conducts workshops about recycling and how important it is to making our local environment sustainable. Our conversation takes you beyond the what and how to recycle and explores the why and explains how your recycling efforts reduce the impact of solid waste in our community, the country, and even the world.


In 2018 Grow Amsterdam hosted a tour of County Waste's single stream recycling facility. Let us take your group to see it in action!


Grow Amsterdam also tables at local events to educate the public about Amsterdam's recycling requirements and provide info on what to do with thin plastic film and other items the city does not collect. Learn what to do with your shredded paper. Invite us to your next community meeting or event for an informative discussion or interactive display of the best recycling practices. We will connect you to a local resource to help you recycle even more than what goes in your bins at home.

What We Do

Waste Audit


A waste audit is an "accounting" of an organization's waste stream. The garbage and recycling are sorted out and quantified to provide a picture of how the recycling program is functioning (or not). The waste audit identifies areas where users do not understand what to do with things they no longer use. The goal of a waste audit is to identify ways to reduce waste by recycling, composting, and reusing items. A waste audit can tell the 'story' and make the case for users to bring reusable containers and water bottles to work.

Benefits of having a waste audit done:

  • Reduce the frequency of ordering and quantity of supplies

  • Minimize trash which reduces carting fees.

  • Streamline process, save staff time/labor

  • Reduce your personal organizations impact on the environment.

  • Promote your company's commitment to the environment. 

In 2018 Grow Amsterdam partnered with Schoharie River Center's Environmental Study Team & Friends of the Amsterdam Free Library. 32% of the trash collected should be diverted from the landfill. Compostable items made up 15% of the total waste. Expanding the recycling efforts to include compost along with staff education, updated signage, and optimized collection points are the first steps recommended by the report  

Waste Audit

Green Up Your Clean Up

Grow Amsterdam, NY is committed to educating consumers about safe, alternative cleaning products. Our grandparents used common household pantry items like vinegar, baking soda and feldspar soap to clean up.

In 2018 Grow Amsterdam, NY held a workshop at the Amsterdam Free Library where participants learned about the potential side-effects of chemicals in their household cleaning products and made household cleaners and laundry detergent. It's easy and saves money! 

Green up Your Clean Up

Household Hazardous Waste

It's best to try to reduce your use of chemical cleaning products, pesticides, drain cleaners, and aerosols. These are day to day use items that have a negative effect on the environment. Below is a PDF containing a list of alternatives to the harsh chemicals we use to clean our houses.

Provided by Schenectady County Recycles

Hazardous Household Waste
Why Recycle
Daniel phone book.jpg

Why Recycle


Recycling is good for the environment

It is more efficient to create new items from recycled materials than it is from raw materials.  Recycling materials many times conserves natural resources and reduces the 'footprint' of products we use every day.  Extracting aluminum from ore requires an extraordinary amount of electrical energy.  Switching from plastic and glass containers to aluminum ones and recycling them is one of the most important actions you can take.


Recycling reduces pollution

It should be obvious that diverting items from landfills reduces pollution.  Organic matter in landfills creates methane gas that contributes to climate change.  Paints, batteries, pharmaceuticals and other toxic items eventually poison water supplies.  When waste is incinerated heavy metals and toxic gasses are released into the air and spread far and wide. 



How to Recycle 

Items for recycling are collected weekly and sent to the Montgomery County Transfer Station on Route 5S in Amsterdam. County Waste takes this material to a single source material recovery facility called a SMRF. 


You don't have to sort your recyclables or bag them. If you have shredded paper do put it in its own bag. Shredded paper, crushed glass and bottle caps are not recycled because they fall through the cracks of the machines and become mixed together (co-mingled). In Albany, County Waste utilizes this material to make roads in landfills. You can help by tossing bottle caps in the trash, taking glass deposit bottles to the store for recycling and separating shredded paper (it can be added to your compost). Today's inks are soy based. Garden hoses, rope, VHS Tapes, and other 'stringy' items get caught in the machinery and aren't recyclable anyway. So put them in the trash. 

How to Recycle

When to Recycle

If you have any questions about recycling please contact the City of Amsterdam at 518-853-8174

City of Amsterdam Recycling Schedule -20
When to Recycle

What to Recycle

Please empty and rinse metal, glass, plastic containers and cartons containing food before recycling.
What to Recycle
Where to Recycle other items

Where to Recycle Other Items

Plastic Film
CFL Lightbulbs
Prescription Medication

Local Police Departments have drop boxes for old prescription drugs. Click here to find a drop site near you . For more information regarding the disposal of prescription drugs, click here.

Packing Peanuts

Donate for reuse at Amsterdam's UPS store.

Fresh motor oil
Motor Oil

Your local mechanic or Autozone.

Car Battery and Jumper Cables
Car Batteries

Wherever you buy your new one will take your old one. Or any auto parts store.

Refrigerators (Doors Removed)

Freon is safely removed at the Montgomery County Transfer Station for a $20 fee and then the metal is recycled. Click here to see what the Transfer Station rates are to take most items

Hazardous Waste Day

 Montgomery County Hazardous Waste Day July 20, 2019 click here for more info

Rethink Recycling Refuse

Our local exchange is in Albany, NY.
There are apps and social media groups that share old, unwanted items for free! 

(Source: Community Exchange System)

Fix it!

Instead of just throwing something away try fixing it first. There's plenty of resources online to guide you through fixing virtually everything.

(Source: iFixit and REPAIR Café)

The average American uses 140 disposable water bottles per year and only recycles about 50 of them.

(Source: iSustainable earth and daily infographic)

If you buy one disposable coffee cup per day it adds 23 pounds of garbage a year.


Pick up Litter!

Keep America Beautiful


(Source: Providence Journal)

Choose Reusable Gift Bags instead of Wrapping Paper

(Source:Treasurie DIY )

Donate Used Clothes and Furniture

Habitat for Humanity


Salvation Army

Upcycle Glass Jars


(Source: bystephanielynn)

Buy in Bulk
(Source: Honest Weight Food Co-op)

Choose to use Reusable Grocery Bags
(Source: Thought Co)

Buy Products Made with Recycled Content



Rethink Recycling
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