Fall is the perfect time for a Finger Lakes trip, but it can be tough to know the ins and outs of recycling when you’re away from home.


Are the rules the same as back home? To sort or not to sort? What to do with pet waste?

Questions like these often lead to leaf peepers opting for a “safer” choice and putting everything in the bin or trashing it all.

And who can blame them? It’s a vacation, right?

We’ve got some simple tips to take the stress out of recycling on your next trip:

#1. Know what belongs in the bin.


These items are not bin-friendly:

  • Styrofoam, wax-coated paper products, paper towels and tissues
  • Window glass, light bulbs, Pyrex, drinking glasses and ceramics
  • Car parts, batteries, appliance parts and other scrap metals
  • Plastic bags, plastic film and biodegradable plastic

#2. Don’t waste time sorting.

Ontario County is a Zero-Sort community! That means all the bin-friendly materials listed above can get tossed in the same recycling bin and brought out to the curb each week. We like to keep the sorting as simple as possible!

#3. Get the scoop on pet waste.


A fall trip to the Finger Lakes is the perfect vacation for your furry friends to tag along. Pet waste can be a great fertilizer if properly composted, but leaving it to take nature's course can be a health risk in public parks or at a vacation rental property. The best way to dispose of your pet’s poop is with biodegradable pet waste bags and tossing them in the trash.

If you’re interested in learning about proper pet composting, check out the Sorta Simple blog.

#4. Cut back on the plastic.

Even though it’s fall, you’ll need to stay hydrated while hiking on trails or walking your dog. Reduce bottle waste by staying hydrated with refillable containers. Get refillable bottles for the whole crew to cut back on disposable plastic bottles. Not only is it better for the environment, it will cut back on your vacation expenses.

#5. Pack with reusable shopping bags.

Reusable shopping bags are a great way to pack for your trip and leave a smaller waste footprint when you head home. Plus, they’ll come in handy for trips to the grocery store or if you’re packing lunch for a scenic hike.

Still not sure? Check for a rental property handbook or visit OntarioCountyRecycles.org to learn more about recycling in Ontario County.

Regina Sousa