Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Be Empowered to Save Energy Forums

Be empowered to make informed decisions about your home’s energy usage! Lean how free energy audits can help lower energy bills, how heat pumps save money while adding comfort and safety to your home, and how solar energy can reduce your energy bill while contributing to a healthy planet. Finally, learn about current New York state and federal incentives for all of these energy improvements. Speakers include Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director, Heat Smart Otsego, along with representatives from Revolution Solar, Delaware River Solar, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District. Workshops will be held at 6:30pm on December 4 at Red Shed Brewery, Cooperstown, as well as January 8, 2020 in Richfield Springs, and January 9, 2020 in Sidney.

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New Executive Director Announced!

After reviewing many qualified applications, the Search Committee of the Otsego County Conservation Association has chosen Amy Wyant as their new Executive Director.  Amy is currently the Outreach Coordinator for the Clean Energy Communities Program for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District. She is also the Chairperson for the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative. Amy brings with her a wealth of knowledge and a great enthusiasm for natural resources and the local community.  OCCA has happy to bring Amy aboard.  She will be starting after the new year, so help us welcome her at that time.

Essay Contest for “Campership” to DEC Summer Camp Now Open

Otsego County students ages 11-13 are invited to compete for camperships to a week-long, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp in 2020. To enter, students must submit an essay of up to 750 that addresses the question: How can I reduce my carbon footprint and why is it important to do so? Entries will be accepted electronically or in hard copy format through December 20, 2019. Winners will be selected and notified in early January. For full contest rules, visit occainfo.org/essay-contest/ … For information on DEC summer camps, please see https://www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html.

OCCA Annual Appeal

Tis the season for the Annual Appeal.  Each year OCCA sends an annual appeal to our members, followers, and donors seeking support for our many programs.  This year’s theme is “Reduce your Footprint, not your giving.”  In a world with the over utilization of resources, energy, and mass consumption, we’re taking on the challenge to educate you on how to reduce your footprint.  Many of our current programs already do this, but we’re hoping to expand and be a part of the “reduction revolution.”  This not only pertains to energy, but anything you can think of including waste, plastics, online shopping (and the resultant delivery), food, etc.  Help us in our campaign to reduce all our footprints by donating to OCCA today! 

County-Wide Composting Now Available!

BINS AVAILABLE: OCCA and the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste and Planning are offering food waste bins for sale. Bins are available in two sizes: Two gallon ‘Kitchen Collector’ ($6) or six gallon ‘EcoCaddy’ ($15). Each container has a hinged lid that locks into place to reduce odors and a sturdy handle for easy transport. These bins are a great way to keep your home odor and pest free while building up food scraps for your backyard compost pile or Otsego County’s new compost facility (see below). Bins are currently available for sale at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown, Oneonta Town Hall, the Richfield Springs Food Co-op, and at the Meadows Office Complex. Call the Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225 for more information.

COMPOST DROP OFF: Otsego County now has functional food composting operation in Oneonta! Household food waste that can be composted include fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, and grains. Remove stickers from fruit and vegetables. Do not include any paper products (aside from coffee filters), packaging, compostable/biodegradable bags, plates or cutlery, or meat, bones or dairy. At this time, food scraps can only be dropped off at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta ($1/container tip fee). Scraps will be transported to a nearby composting facility. For more information, visit https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/solid_waste/index.php or contact the Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225.

Holiday Recycling Reminders

The downside of the season of giving? Garbage. Approximately 25 million extra tons of waste is generated during the holiday season. As you shop for the holidays, consider gifts that generate minimal waste; use last year’s packaging to ship your gifts; reuse wrapping paper and ribbons, and look for minimally-packaged products. When it’s finally time to dispose of something, please check to find if it can be recycled in your municipality’s program. Here are some seasonal items and how to dispose of them:

Wrapping paper and ribbons: consider alternatives to traditional wrapping paper (fabrics, newspaper, old maps) or open packages carefully in order to reuse your wrapping paper from year to year. In Otsego County, paper (non-metallic) wrapping paper, ribbons and bows can be placed in your curbside recycling bin or taken to your local transfer station.

Christmas lights: Working light strings that are no longer wanted may be accepted for resale by charitable organizations such as Goodwill, or area thrift stores. Please call them first to be sure! Christmas lights are not accepted as part of Otsego County’s recycling program, but several recycling options are available: they can be shipped to HolidayLEDS or Christmas Light Source for recycling. In exchange, you will receive a coupon good for a discount on new lights purchased through those outlets. See HolidayLEDS.com or www.christmas-light-source.com/Christmas-Lights-Recycling-Program_c_210.html for details on how to participate. Locally, Lowe’s Home Improvement stores will be collecting Christmas lights for recycling through December 24. Look for recycling containers at the front of the store. As of today, Home Depot had not announced whether they would be collecting Christmas lights. Call your local store to find out as we get closer to the holiday.

Christmas trees: Many localities offer special collections of natural Christmas trees, beginning typically in early January. Watch for announcements in local news outlets for dates and how to participate. Otsego County will allow residents to drop off natural trees with all lights, ornaments, tinsel, etc. removed at the Northern and Southern Transfer Stations during normal operational hours. Dates available will be announced soon.