Recycling 101

What Do I Recycle?

In the North Country, we focus primarily on these 5 categories. The "Big 5" are all recycled in "curbside recycling" or at transfer sites. These main commodities are reused in other industries or are diverted to save space in landfills.  


How Do I Recycle?

In Jefferson County and the City of Watertown, residents and businesses use source separation or curbside separation to recycle. This involves separating cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, and metal waste into individual containers that are then disposed of correctly. Jefferson County residents must dispose of their recyclables at county or town transfer stations unless they use a private hauler. Meanwhile, the City of Watertown residents can enjoy free bi-weekly curbside pick-up of their recyclables.

In St. Lawrence and Lewis Counties, all recyclable waste is collected in a single bin called "single stream," which is then appropriately disposed of at a facility that processes recyclables. Citizens are required to dispose of their recyclables at the county or town transfer stations, unless through a private hauler.

If you use a private hauler, please confirm their method for collecting recyclables.  

Why Recycle?

Recycling is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.  The Development Authority is a strong advocate for recycling not only as it protects our environment, but ultimately it reduces the amount of waste that goes into its landfill in Rodman.  This means that, over time, the landfill will be in operation a lot longer!  Other benefits of recycling include:

  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals; 
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials;
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials;
  • Saves energy in multiple levels of production and manufacturing;
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources;
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States;