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Ontario County launches innovative can carrier collection program

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

In a significant step towards sustainable waste management, Ontario County officially launched its Can Carrier Collection Program. Aimed at tackling the recycling challenges posed by plastic can carriers used with aluminum cans, the program was introduced by the Department of Sustainability & Solid Waste Management on April 29. These carriers, often found at the top of beverage cans, are not compatible with standard single-stream recycling systems because they can jam recycling machinery.

The initiative will officially kick off with a public event on May 2 at Brewery Ardennes in Geneva. This program marks the first of its kind in the Finger Lakes region and seeks to involve local businesses as collection points. The goal is to collect, sanitize, and reuse the plastic carriers, thus extending their lifecycle. For carriers that are beyond reuse, the program ensures they are properly recycled.

At the upcoming event, local establishments are invited to learn about the program and explore ways to participate. With 20 locations already on board, including breweries and retail stores, the county is eager to expand this network. The program not only helps in diverting waste from landfills but also supports local businesses by providing them with a system to collect and reuse carriers.

The program is a collaborative effort between Ontario County, waste management company Casella, and Reusable Solutions, showcasing a model of public-private partnership. Carla Jordan, Director of the Ontario County Department of Sustainability & Solid Waste Management, highlighted the program’s importance: “We are excited to provide our residents and businesses with another opportunity to divert materials from the waste stream and educate them about the recycling process.”