Earth Day 2023 at the OHSWA

April 18, 2023

earth day utica nyThis might change your mind about backyard composting.

28 percent of waste deposited in landfills can be composted. If everyone in the U.S. composted, it would be like removing 7.8 million cars from the road. And, for Utica area gardeners, soil with compost added can hold 2.5 times more water than traditional soil, reducing the amount of water that needs to be applied.

It’s Earth Day this Saturday, April 22 and encourages Americans to get inspired, take action, and be a part of the green revolution.

So here in the Mohawk Valley we’re turning to the Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (OHSWA) to do just that. We’re passing on to you the above stats from the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute because the OHSWA is offering a deal on backyard compost bins.

You can order online and pick up your Earth Machine backyard compost bin on Saturday for just $59.95. That’s down from the regular price of $100.00! This is a great deal, but there’s more. You can also order a kitchen scrap collector, compost turner, and rain barrel.

A friend of ours has been composting for years. His family no longer throws banana/orange peels, apple cores, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, eggs shells, or old fresh cut flowers into the kitchen garbage. After all this material breaks down in the composter, he spreads the soil onto the flower beds around the house.

Rain Barrels and Keeping the Mohawk River Clean

While gathering info for this post on the OHSWA website, we discovered Operation Ripple Effect. It’s an Oneida County initiative that teaches you the steps you can take to help keep the Mohawk River cleaner.

The effort’s tagline is, Reroute. Reclaim. Recharge. It’s founded on the fact that heavy rainfalls and snowmelts cause stormwater to enter the Oneida County Sanitary Sewer System. When this happens, untreated sewage can overflow into the Mohawk River.

According to the Authority, up to 50% of the water that contributes to overflows comes from private properties during these more extreme wet weather events.

The beauty of the initiative is, it doesn’t take much to help. Rerouting refers to disconnecting your gutter’s downspout to keep rainwater out of the sewer system. You can then reroute the rainwater and reclaim it in a rain garden or recharge it in a rain barrel to use later.

Keeping the Mohawk River clean is an effort we think everyone in the Mohawk Valley can get on board with.

And there’s a lot more going on this Saturday at the Solid Waste Authority:

  • Confidential paper shredding
  • Unused medication and pharmaceutical collection
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Year-round EcoDrop items
  • Recycling Center tours
  • Utica Zoomobile

All of this will help you with your spring cleaning and benefit our beautiful Mohawk Valley. So check out the website here and make Earth Day 2023 really count this year!

Until next time,

Your SZW Team

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