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Monroe County wants to ‘refresh’ your recycling skills

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo discusses new recycling campaign with media.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has launched a new social media recycling education campaign.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, she said the “Refresh Recycling” campaign is aimed at teaching residents how to recycle properly at home. This includes highlighting what can be recycled, what can be brought to the Monroe County Ecopark, and what must be sent to the landfill.

According to Michael Garland, director of the County's Department of Environmental Services, a large number of residents continue to make the same recycling mistakes.

“Plastic bags, there’s places to take them in our community, whether it’s food markets or the retailers,” Garland said. “We see food waste in containers, in bins or in toters, that gets into our recycling stream and is disruptive to the process. Also, chords, chains, Styrofoam food containers, things like that.”

The county-led effort is also chasing what Dinolfo called an “ambitious goal.” The campaign attempts to increase the rate at which the County is able to keep material out of the landfill to 60 percent by 2025. The landfill diversion rate is currently 38 percent.

Dinolfo also mentioned another benefit of recycling: its economic impact.

"For every 1,000 tons of recycled materials, two jobs are created. So, what that means is, in Monroe County, recycling actually sustains almost 700 jobs,” she explained. 

The County's new "Recycle Right" graphic is designed for promotional magnets and educating residents.

The campaign will be conducted via Facebook and Twitter throughout the month of April, as Dinolfo will share recycling tips and statistics in hopes of reaching a wide audience. The County’s environmental educators will also be providing presentations to various students in the community.

“As a result of mixed recycling, we’ve seen more people participate in recycling,” Dinolfo said. “We also face a little bit of a contamination issue, because people aren't fully aware of, 'What can I recycle?' and, 'How do I actually participate?'”

The Rochester Americans, and Waste Management, have partnered with Monroe County on the initiative, to get the message out to their fans and customers. The Amerks will host Refresh Recycling Night on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at which fans will receive a complimentary “Recycle Right” magnet.

Any fan who visits the Monroe County Ecopark will also receive a free ticket to the game, while supplies last. 

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.