Green Column

Solid Waste & Recycling
in Sullivan County

Spring 2021

I consulted with our Green Team Member Bill Cutler on the Hazardous Waste problems here in Sullivan County and he gave me this reference for Solid Waste & Recycling FAQs (for the full list of FAQs go to: If you don't find the answer to your question online, call Sullivan Waste Management at 845-807-0290.

Kate Hyden

Recycling is mandatory in Sullivan County, either with private haulers or do-it-yourself drop off at transfer stations. This means recyclables MUST be separated from trash prior to discarding trash. Recycling saves not only natural resources and landfill space - it also saves you money! Handy recycling instructions are available at solid waste facilities and by contacting the Department of Solid Waste & Recycling.
Private haulers using Sullivan County Solid Waste Management Facilities must be licensed, and offer separate recycling collection services to their customers. When shopping for a waste hauler, make sure they are in fact licensed in Sullivan County, and request their recycling instructions up front, in order to avoid confusion. Firms not using Sullivan County facilities must also comply with mandatory source separation recycling requirements, as it is the law.

Q. Why does garbage cost so much to get rid of?
A. Sanitary disposal of waste is an expensive proposition, but one that many people, unfortunately, take for granted. All aspects of solid waste treatment and disposal are regulated by New York State, which maintains very high standards of environmental compliance. Garbage should not be thought of as a worthless item of discard; it is a product that contains materials which must be managed according to their nature for safety. Hauling long distances adds to this cost. Permitted sanitary landfills, recycling centers and incinerators are costly, technologically advanced facilities that offer this capability.

Q. I have lots of old oil-based paint and chemicals. How can I dispose of this stuff in Sullivan County?
Sullivan County offers no-charge Household Hazardous Waste disposal events during the year. Sullivan County Recycling will be announcing a hazardous waste day once it is scheduled.

Q. Latex paint is non-hazardous, and you do not accept it during the Household Hazardous Waste collection events. How can I dispose of this stuff properly in Sullivan County?
A. Latex paint is non-hazardous, and may be disposed of as regular household trash, provided the paint has been fully solidified first before throwing it away. This is done by adding inexpensive cat litter to liquid latex paint and allowing the paint to harden fully before throwing it away.

Q. Can I bury garbage in my back yard?
A. That is definitely NOT a good idea! Garbage often contains hazardous substances that can leach into groundwater, plus the odor of decomposing trash attracts bears, rats, skunks and other pesky critters. It is best to leave proper solid waste disposal to professional operators.

Q. Is there anything Sullivan County can't take for recycling or disposal?!
A. Some materials that we are unable to accept, or which have alternate disposal methods, include yard waste (tree branches, grass clippings, leaves), friable asbestos, explosives, ammunition, regulated medical waste, radioactive materials and hazardous materials (we can ONLY accept, upon prior registration, household hazardous waste during our approved collection events – and at NO OTHER TIME.)

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