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OCCA partners with Community Bank to offer e-waste recycling opportunity

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Conservation Association is teaming up with Community Bank, N.A. of Cooperstown on a combination recycling/fundraising effort.

“We’re installing collection bins at both Community Bank locations in Cooperstown,” said Darla Youngs, OCCA’s executive director. “People can drop off used inkjet cartridges and small electronics. We’ll send them to Planet Green Recycle and earn money to help support our work.”

Planet Green provides fundraising for organizations, individuals, and businesses through recycling and remanufactures cartridges, keeping tons of plastic, metal, and toxic compounds out of the landfill.

“OCCA earns money for each item we ship. We’ve raised nearly $1,000.00 to date through Planet Green,” said Youngs.

E-waste that can be deposited in the Community Bank bins include but are not limited to inkjet cartridges, cell phones, GPS units, radar detectors, calculators, e-readers and tablets, iPods, iPads, and MP3 players. They can be in good working order or damaged. Toner cartridges are not accepted as part of this collection.

“Community Bank, N.A. is proud to partner with OCCA in their efforts to recycle common household and office items in a way that can have a positive impact on not only our environment, but our community as well,” said Naomi Duncan, branch manager of the Cooperstown Main Street and Otsego offices.

“More and more homes have printers and electronic devices than ever before,” Youngs added, “resulting in a lot of consumables that have to be disposed of. This program helps keep them out of the landfill, and can support a good cause like OCCA at the same time. Everybody wins!”

Recycling bins are located at Community Bank’s two Cooperstown locations, 62 Main Street and 5378 State Highway 28, and can be accessed during normal business hours.

In addition to the proceeds raised by recycling, OCCA can also earn money from customers who purchase remanufactured inkjet and toner cartridges directly from Planet Green, said Youngs.

“When someone buys from Planet Green, they can designate OCCA to receive 15 percent of the purchase price,” Youngs explained.

For the full list of ink jet cartridges, cell phones and small electronics accepted by Planet Green Recycle, visit https://planetgreenrecycle.com/what_we_pay_plain_noSubmit.php?purl=ShopEco.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s water, land, and air, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ for more information.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

 

Thanks to a collaboration between Otsego County Conservation Association and the Otsego County Solid Waste Department, the County’s online recycling and disposal guidance document has been updated.

Titled “How Do I Get Rid Of …? The Best Way To Dispose of Things You No Longer Want or Need,” this compendium outlines ways in which unwanted items can best be recycled, reused or discarded.

From aerosol cans to aluminum foil, mattresses to metal scrap, and wood pellet bags to yard waste, Otsego County residents will find tips and information to help safely and easily get rid of trash, recyclables, and hazardous waste.

Options for reuse and for keeping perfectly good materials out of the landfill are also included.

“Many thanks to OCCA Recycling Advisory Committee members Martha Clarvoe, Herb Marx and Jeff O’Handley for working closely with Karen Sullivan of the Otsego County Solid Waste Department to refresh this information,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs.

“Kudos in particular to Martha and Herb, whose research and editing got the ball rolling, and to Karen for tying up the loose ends,” Youngs said.

To view the alphabetized list of items and learn how best to dispose of them, visit http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/documents/HowDoIGetRidOf2016.pdf.

The Otsego County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling manages the countywide recycling program and the annual hazardous waste collection event, and administers the Solid Waste User Fee. See http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/ to learn more.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s air, land, and water, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ for more information.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

 

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

February 15, 2016: Vol. 9, No. 5

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9
OCCA SPONSORS SNOWSHOE HIKE ON FEB 20 AT RIDDELL
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS?
WEBINARS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS
THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET
POLLINATOR CONSERVATION THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE
DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID
SAVE THE DATE: OCCA GARAGE SALE

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9: Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at 1 p.m. Her presentation, titled “Sustaining Plant Biodiversity with Heritage and Native Species,” is free and open to the public. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

OCCA SPONSORS SNOWSHOE HIKE ON FEB 20 AT RIDDELL: Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2016 Nature Walk Series continues on February 20 at 1 p.m. Join Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for a snowshoe hike in the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The Kents, who donated the land for the park, will share the rich history of the area on this easy, 1.5-mile hike, which is appropriate for all skill levels. Participants must bring their own snowshoes. If there is not enough snow, the hike will proceed on foot. Bring water and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Meet at the main entrance to Robert V. Riddell State Park on State Route 28, just north of I-88 exit 17. The walk is free, but pre-registration is requested by calling (607) 282-4087 or online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. OCCA has organized and/or co-sponsored nature walks on local trails since 2001 and Program Director Jeff O’Handley is currently working to finalize this year’s schedule. Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c) 3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s air, land, and water, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visithttp://occainfo.org/ for more information.

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS? Following a change in the New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Law adopted in March of 2015, stores that provide customers with plastic carryout bags (and which meet certain size conditions) must accept bags and other film plastics for recycling. Film plastic includes newspaper and dry cleaning bags; shrink wrap; sandwich, produce, cereal, and frozen food bags; and the plastic packaging for toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels. OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley explains: http://www.coopercrier.com/opinion/occa-notes-by-jeff-o-handley-recycling-is-in-the/article_886a2f9a-f593-59d0-8c32-b7e065333b18.html

WEBINARS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS: National Invasive Species Awareness Week isFebruary 21-27. A series of free webinars hosted by the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils will explore “hack and squirt” plant treatments, the importance of volunteers in early detection and rapid response, and the treatment of firewood to prevent the spread of forest pests, among other topics. To learn more, or to register, seehttp://www.nisaw.org/meetings/2016/2016-webinar/.

THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET: Vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, area businesses, and local community groups will share the spotlight as Railroad Avenue is transformed on Saturday, May 21 for the Rotary Club of Cooperstown’s third annual Spring Fling Street Fair. The street fair will run from noon to 5 p.m. Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in this community-building event. Live music and a silent auction will also be featured during this celebration of spring, and train rides on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad will be offered, including a round-trip excursion from the C&CVRR station in Milford plus shuttle trains carrying festival goers from the Cooperstown Gateway Center to Glen Avenue. For more information on craft, business and non-profit vending, contact Karen Katz at kkatz@stny.rr.com or (607) 434-3418. Food vendors with trucks or trailers should contact Melanie Boyer atmboyer@nysw.com or (607) 547-2555, ext. 250. Those wishing to learn more about the silent auction should contact Margaret Savoie at margaret.37.ms@gmail.com or 607-547-5622 or 607-437-0651. Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The Rotary Club of Cooperstown was founded in 1924. OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs currently serves as a Club director.

POLLINATOR CONSERVATION THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE: On Thursday, March 3, the SUNY Cobleskill 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series will feature a presentation by Dr. Carmen Greenwood titled “Native Pollinator Conservation.” Native bees, flies, beetles and butterflies that pollinate our crops and forests are imperiled and in decline. Learn who these pollinators are and how we can help. This presentation – set for 7 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is free and open to the public. Future talks include: March 10, 7 p.m., “PlantPure Nation,” a documentary followed by discussion; and, March 31, 7 p.m., “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions” by Dr. Robert L. Thompson. For more information, visit http://www.cobleskill.edu/sustainability/.

DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID: Whether you learned about vernal pools from Donna Vogler, bird life at Mohican Farm with Becky Gretton or one of the other many topics featured in OCCA’s 2015 Nature Walk Series, we welcome your input. Please fill out our quick survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2P8D97D and tell us how we did as the schedule for 2016 begins to take shape.

SAVE THE DATE: OCCA’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will take place Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market space. Donations of merchandise will be accepted April 25-28.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

 

Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2016 Nature Walk Series continues on February 20 at 1 p.m. Join Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for a snowshoe hike in the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The Kents, who donated the land for the park, will share the rich history of the area on this easy, 1.5-mile hike, which is appropriate for all skill levels. Participants must bring their own snowshoes. If there is not enough snow, the hike will proceed on foot. Bring water and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Meet at the main entrance to Robert V. Riddell State Park on State Route 28, just north of I-88 exit 17. 

The walk is free, but pre-registration is requested by calling (607) 282-4087 or online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. OCCA has organized and/or co-sponsored nature walks on local trails since 2001 and Program Director Jeff O’Handley is currently working to finalize this year’s schedule. Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s air, land, and water, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ for more information.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

 

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at 1 p.m. Her presentation, titled “Sustaining Plant Biodiversity with Heritage and Native Species,” is free and open to the public.

Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

 

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

 

In December 2015, the Otsego County Solid Waste Department contracted with Discover Books to place collection bins for soft and hardcover books at the Cooperstown and Oneonta Transfer Stations. The new service is in response to County residents seeking locations to recycle books, especially hard cover books. Prior to the agreement, individuals wanting to dispose of hard cover books were asked to separate the cover from the pages. The glue used in the spine of the book and the hard cover prevent hardcover books from being disposed in the regular recycling bins. Four Book Bins will be placed at each transfer station and Discover Books will service the bins from their Massachusetts based company, at no cost to the County. Discover Books has collection locations all across the country with the goal to resell, donate, or recycle books depending on their condition. The priority and focus of the company is to place books with people who want and need them the most. Discover Books is able to do this through partnerships with public  libraries and charitable organizations throughout the country. Since the company’s inception, they have donated over 8.9 million books to non-profit organizations and they have diverted over 500 million pounds of paper from landfill demise. It is this focus on charity and environmental awareness that attracted the County to this particular company. The Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department is looking forward to working with Discover Books. Individuals can dispose of books during the transfer stations regular hours:

Oneonta M-F 7 am – 3 pm and Saturdays 8 am to Noon

Cooperstown M,W,F 7 am to Noon and Saturdays 8 am to Noon

Hours of operation on Saturdays from

Memorial Day to Labor Day are extended to 2 pm.

Feel free to visit the Solid Waste Department’s website at

www.otsegocounty.com/dept/solidwaste

or call us at (607) 547-4225 for additional information.

 

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

NAT WITHDRAWS EDIC TO FRASER TRANSMISSION LINE PROPOSAL
DEADLINE FOR CAMPERSHIP ESSAY CONTEST IS MONDAY
NEXT WEEKEND’S WINTER FEST OFFERS OUTDOOR FAMILY FUN
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS?
OCCA SPONSORS MUD LAKE SHOWSHOE HIKE ON FEBRUARY 6
OTSEGO COUNTY OFFERS RECYCLING GUIDANCE, NEW BOOK PROGRAM
DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID
FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE SUNY COBLESKILL ENERGY WORLD
MEMBERS, SUPPORT SOUGHT IN OCCA YEAR-END APPEAL
SAVE THE DATES: OCCA GARAGE SALE, EARTH FESTIVAL

NAT WITHDRAWS EDIC TO FRASER TRANSMISSION LINE PROPOSAL: North America Transmission has officially withdrawn all proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line routes and alternatives from further consideration during a competitive upgrade process that began more than four years ago. If selected, Edic to Fraser would have traversed four counties and 16 municipalities, traveling approximately 40 miles through Otsego County parallel to the existing Marcy South power line right of way. In an order issued onDecember 17, the New York State Public Service Commission requested that NAT withdraw Edic to Fraser from the proceeding, thereby upholding an earlier recommendation by PSC Trial Staff. Trial Staff concluded in September after a lengthy comparative evaluation that all five of NAT’s proposed line segments and route alternatives inclusive of Edic to Fraser “should be eliminated from consideration. These projects, in comparison to the remaining scenarios, have the potential for greater environmental impacts.” NAT complied and, on January 15, formally withdrew Edic to Fraser. “We are very pleased with the Trial Staff’s assessment and with PSC’s decision,” said Otsego County Conservation Association President Vicky M. Lentz. “While Edic to Fraser did not gain traction in the local media as a high-profile issue, it would have had significant negative impacts to Otsego County that could not be ignored.” To read Joe Mahoney’s recent news article in “The Daily Star” on Edic to Fraser, see http://www.thedailystar.com/news/local_news/energy-firm-pulls-plug-on-power-line-proposal/article_cc20107a-d1a2-5b98-9c95-862dcf8b388e.html.

DEADLINE FOR CAMPERSHIP ESSAY CONTEST IS MONDAY: The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send school students to DEC Environmental Education Camp in summer 2016 through its annual competitive essay contest. Otsego County students ages 11-14 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be minimum age byDecember 1, 2016). In 750 words or less, they are asked, “Imagine yourself in 50 years: What would you say to your younger self about the value Otsego County’s beautiful land, lakes, and streams?” OCCA will reward nine winning essayists with a week-long stay at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where campers spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun. Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is Monday, January 25, 2016, and winning essays will be chosen by February 1.  Winners of OCCA-sponsored DEC camperships will be notified immediately, and will receive the code from OCCA by which to register for DEC camp. There will be small cash prizes for the best essay written by a student not applying to camp and for alternates. Complete contest rules and requirements, and the parental consent form, are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Quick-Details-and-Press-Release-2016.docx. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school. OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.

NEXT WEEKEND’S WINTER FEST OFFERS OUTDOOR FAMILY FUN: Whether it’s snow volleyball, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, a roaring fire in the lodge, animal track identification, nature adventure hikes, sledding, drinks and snacks, or outdoor arts and crafts for kids, Five Star Subaru’s Cabin Fever Winter Fest is sure to have something every member of the family will enjoy! Join Five Star Subaru, the Otsego County Conservation Association, Susquehanna Chapter ADK, the SUNY Oneonta Outdoor Adventure Club and others on January 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gilbert Lake State Park in Laurens. Bring your gear, enjoy the view of the lake, stay warm by the fire and have a fun-filled day! Free outdoor activities for the whole family will include: a beginners’ snowshoe hike around the lake with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at 11:30 a.m. For complete details, visit http://www.fivestarcars.com/cabin-fever-winter-fest.htm.

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS? Following a change in the New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Law adopted in March of 2015, stores that provide customers with plastic carryout bags (and which meet certain size conditions) must accept bags and other film plastics for recycling. Film plastic includes newspaper and dry cleaning bags; shrink wrap; sandwich, produce, cereal, and frozen food bags; and the plastic packaging for toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels.OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley explains: http://www.coopercrier.com/opinion/occa-notes-by-jeff-o-handley-recycling-is-in-the/article_886a2f9a-f593-59d0-8c32-b7e065333b18.html

OCCA SPONSORS MUD LAKE SNOWSHOE HIKE ON FEBRUARY 6: Join Steve Kent on a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake in Robert V. Riddell State Park on Saturday, February 6 at noon. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land for the park. Climb South Hill, view a scenic ravine and waterfall, and visit Mud Lake – a sphagnum bog at the top of the hill – then return to the starting point. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land before it became a state park in 2005. Meet at noon on the east side of Gersoni Road, just south of I-88, Exit 17 (watch for a small green sign that reads “State Park Lands”). Parking is available on the wide shoulder of Gersoni Road. Participants need to supply their own snowshoes and should also bring water, a snack, and weather-appropriate clothing. The five-mile round trip hike includes moderately steep grades and should take approximately 3-1/2 hours to complete. Snowshoes are optional if the snow is not too deep and participants are comfortable walking. This is part of OCCA’s annual Nature Walk Series. For more information or to register, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org or (607) 547-4488, or use the online registration form: http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. This program is free and open to the public.

OTSEGO COUNTY OFFERS RECYCLING GUIDANCE, NEW BOOK PROGRAM: Earlier this week, the Otsego County Solid Waste Department released “How Do I Get Rid Of …? The Best Way to Dispose of Things You No Longer Want or Need.” This newly updated online guidance document provides tips for recycling batteries, finding a new home for clothing and appliances, getting rid of broken light bulbs or glass, disposing of asbestos, and much more! Visit http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/. Otsego County also now offers collection bins at both the Northern and Southern transfer stations for hard- and soft-cover books. Learn more at:http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/documents/BookRecyclingNewsRelease.pdf.

DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID: Whether you learned about vernal pools from Donna Vogler, bird life at Mohican Farm with Becky Gretton or one of the other many topics featured in OCCA’s 2015 Nature Walk Series, we welcome your input. Please fill out our quick survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2P8D97D and tell us how we did as the schedule for 2016 begins to take shape.

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE SUNY COBLESKILL ENERGY WORLD: On Wednesday, February 3, Dave Waage and Dr. Paul Amodeo from SUNY Cobleskill’s Center for Environmental Science and Technology will provide the campus and community with an update on research and developments for the waste gasification project (utilizing agricultural and cafeteria wastes for the production of electrical power through the conversion of wastes to clean fuel gas). This presentation – set for 8 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is free and open to the public, and is part of the 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series. Future talks include: March 3, 7 p.m., “Native Pollinator Conservation” by Dr. Carmen Greenwood; March 10, 7 p.m., “PlantPure Nation,” a documentary followed by discussion; and,March 31, 7 p.m., “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions” by Dr. Robert L. Thompson. For more information, visithttp://www.cobleskill.edu/sustainability/.

MEMBERS, SUPPORT SOUGHT IN OCCA YEAR-END APPEAL: 2015 was a banner year for OCCA! And the positive results of our annual membership appeal show that people are appreciative of OCCA’s work. More great things lie ahead for OCCA and Otsego County in 2016. If you have not already done so, please help set the stage for another successful year by donating now. To learn more about OCCA’s accomplishments over the last 12 months, see OCCA’s “Year in Review” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXz71oK0zC4. And remember, our work would not be possible without our members, donors and volunteers!

SAVE THE DATES: OCCA’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will take place Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market space. Donations of merchandise will be accepted April 25-28. Earth Festival 2016 is set for Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School. See OCCA’s EnviroEvents calendar at http://occainfo.org/calendar/.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
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O-C-C-YAY!

North America Transmission has officially withdrawn all proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line routes and alternatives from further consideration during a competitive upgrade process that began more than four years ago. If selected, Edic to Fraser would have traversed four counties and 16 municipalities, traveling approximately 40 miles through Otsego County parallel to the existing Marcy South power line right of way.

In an order issued on December 17, the New York State Public Service Commission requested that NAT withdraw Edic to Fraser from the proceeding, thereby upholding an earlier recommendation by PSC Trial Staff. Trial Staff concluded in September after a lengthy comparative evaluation that all five of NAT’s proposed line segments and route alternatives inclusive of Edic to Fraser “should be eliminated from consideration. These projects, in comparison to the remaining scenarios, have the potential for greater environmental impacts.” NAT complied and, on January 15, formally withdrew Edic to Fraser.

“We are very pleased with the Trial Staff’s assessment and with PSC’s decision,” said Otsego County Conservation Association President Vicky M. Lentz. “While Edic to Fraser did not gain traction in the local media as a high-profile issue, it would have had significant negative impacts to Otsego County that could not be ignored.”

OCCA completed its own review of NAT’s proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line in April, culminating in a 157-page comment report submitted to the PSC on April 22 (http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={26FA962F-4EF2-4086-AC09-2C11A59ABB25}).

PSC Trial Staff wrote: “OCCA filed an extensive report outlining the impacts of the proposed Edic to Fraser project to inform the public record and evaluate the project’s compatibility with the environmental and community characteristics of Otsego County. The report outlined the concerns of OCCA in relation to need and public benefit, siting, alternative proposals, environmental impact, other impacts, compliance with local laws, and community outreach conducted by OCCA.”

“The potential adverse environmental and socioeconomic impacts associated with the proposed Edic to Fraser project outweighed the project’s reported benefits,” Lentz said, in summarizing OCCA’s position.

OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs added that Edic to Fraser would have had significant adverse impacts on Otsego County’s agricultural, scenic and historic landscapes.

PSC Trial Staff concurred, ranking NAT’s Edic to Fraser proposal “high” – anticipated to be the least environmentally compatible – in the parameters of new right-of-way, expansion of existing ROW, impact to major river corridors, length of ROW in agricultural districts, and visual assessment, among others.

The Edic to Fraser proposal was one of 21 plans originally considered by the PSC as it seeks to address reported ongoing electric transmission congestion problems by delivering an additional 1,000 MW of electricity from upstate power sources to downstate consumers. Edic to Fraser included parts of the towns of Richfield, Exeter, Burlington, New Lisbon, Laurens, Otego and Oneonta.

Project proposals from developers were submitted to the PSC independently in September of 2014, each of which reflected a possible solution to address reported ongoing electric transmission congestion problems by delivering an additional 1,000 MW of electricity from upstate power sources to downstate consumers. At the request of the state, these companies were then given an opportunity to present new or modified proposals that would make greater use of existing transmission corridors and rights of way.

Funded in part by a $65,000 award from the PSC, OCCA contracted with C&S Companies and Springfield attorney Douglas H. Zamelis to conduct an environmental review of NAT’s Edic to Fraser power line proposal. OCCA Environmental Planner Danny Lapin worked with partner organizations, municipal and county officials, affected landowners, and the public to develop additional data and information pertaining to local environmental, agricultural, historic, and other resources in order to determine any potential impacts and effects this project may have.

“OCCA got on board early, influenced the PSC’s decision, and obtained a very favorable result for the people and environment of Otsego County.  That OCCA was able to obtain a sizeable intervenor funding award so that NAT actually paid all of OCCA’s fees and costs makes it all the more sweet,” said Zamelis, whose law practice focuses on environmental and land-use matters.

The siting, construction, and operation of high-voltage electric power transmission lines and associated facilities such as substations and converter stations present the potential for numerous adverse environmental impacts – land-use changes; forest impacts; wetland and riparian impacts; hydrologic changes; soil erosion; impacts to biodiversity, wildlife, and avian populations; land, water and air pollution; changes in electromagnetic fields, increased noise, and more.

OCCA’s cover letter, comment report, and associated figures and appendices can be accessed via http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=13-t-0454

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) is a 501(c)3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 47 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s air, land, and water, representing more than 800 members and volunteers.

Report cover letter to PSC: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={C234336D-0B17-4BF6-BE1D-BB3A7FE0CFBE}
Comment report: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={26FA962F-4EF2-4086-AC09-2C11A59ABB25}
Figures: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={364BE74B-77BA-45A8-8886-5A832776BA27}
Appendices A-H: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={CBEB9468-0984-4AF1-B671-AC7DF702B76C}
Appendices I-J: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId={771B14D7-F7CD-4B77-9AA0-65BA282AAB4F}

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
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COOPERSTOWN – The deadline is Monday, January 25 for Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual competitive essay contest which will send nine middle-school students to DEC Environmental Education Camp this summer.

Otsego County students ages 11-14 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be minimum age by December 1, 2016). In 750 words or less, they are asked, “Imagine yourself in fifty years: What would you say to your younger self about the value Otsego County’s beautiful land, lakes, and streams?”

OCCA will reward nine winning essayists with a week-long stay at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where campers spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer our Campership Sponsor Program for the fifth straight year,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “There’s a growing concern that kids today are lacking the important connection between being outdoors and caring for nature. Our goal is for the essayists to have fun with the assignment but also to think critically about their connection to and dependency on the natural world.”

“Future conservation efforts will increase as kids learn to be good stewards of the environment and begin to understand some of the issues facing us today – pollution, resource depletion, solid waste management, climate change, ecosystem destruction, and so much more,” Youngs said.

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is Monday, January 25, 2016, and winning essays will be chosen byFebruary 1.  Winners of OCCA-sponsored DEC camperships will be notified immediately, and will receive the code from OCCA by which to register for DEC camp. There will be small cash prizes for the best essay written by a student not applying to camp and for alternates.

“Last year, our six winners were from Roseboom, Oneonta, Middlefield, and Cooperstown, with kids from the Cooperstown, Milford, and Oneonta schools participating,” Youngs said. “We hope more teachers will incorporate the essay into their lesson plans this year, but any Otsego County student meeting the age requirements is eligible and welcome to enter an essay.”

Complete contest rules and requirements are available by e-mailingadmin@occainfo.org or by calling (607) 547-4488. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school.

OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

Join Steve Kent on a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake in Robert V. Riddell State Park on Saturday, February 6 at noon. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land for the park. Climb South Hill, view a scenic ravine and waterfall, and visit Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog, at the top of the hill, then return to the starting point. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land before it became a state park in 2005. Meet atnoon on the east side of Gersoni Road, just south of I-88, Exit 17 (watch for a small green sign that reads “State Park Lands”). Parking is available on the wide shoulder of Gersoni Road. Participants need to supply their own snowshoes and should also bring water, a snack, and weather-appropriate clothing. The five-mile round trip hike includes moderately steep grades and should take approximately 3-1/2 hours to complete. Snowshoes are optional if the snow is not too deep and participants are comfortable walking. This is part of OCCA’s annual Nature Walk Series. For more information or to register, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org or (607) 547-4488, or use the online registration form: http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. This program is free and open to the public.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!