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The 14th Annual Earth Festival is fast approaching. In keeping with this year’s theme of recycling, organizers are once again providing opportunities for attendees to recycle hard to get rid of items.

“Recycling has been a part of Earth Festival since the very beginning,” said Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s recycling committee and a member of the Earth Festival planning committee. “Otsego County has a very good recycling program, but we’re happy to provide alternatives for items that aren’t part of the regular program.”

The following items will be accepted for recycling: clean, white expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), including rigid packing material, egg cartons, coolers, peanuts and takeout food containers. Only white Styrofoam is accepted, and all material must be clean and dry, with all leftover food, tape, and adhesive labels removed.

Also being accepted this year are non-working Christmas lights; toilet and paper towel tubes; window envelopes; used fishing line (no hooks, sinkers, bobbers or reels, please); natural cork; tennis balls; used writing implements (pens, markers, mechanical pencils) dental care items (used toothbrushes and packaging, empty toothpaste tubes, empty dental floss and dental tape containers and packaging); and inkjet cartridges (No toner cartridges, please; check toner packaging for mail-in recycling options or contact OfficeMax or other supply stores), cell phones and chargers, tablets, and other small, handheld electronics.

The Confidata shredding truck will also provide free shredding of personal documents from 11am to 2pm. There is a five box per person limit.

“People really love this service,” Clarvoe said. “Last year, 4300 pounds was shredded, a new Earth Festival record.”

Collection points will be set up both inside and outside the Earth Festival event, which takes place on Saturday, April 21, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. The OCCA Recycling Committee will also have educational displays about recycling, including using “How Do I Get Rid Of…?”, a searchable page on how to dispose of various items once they’re ready to be disposed of, and a display on the bag and film plastic collection program.

“It’s going to be a very busy day,” Clarvoe said. “Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact me at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.”

Also in keeping with the Recycling theme, back this year at Earth Festival is the EcoArt contest. EcoArt challenges contestants with creating something practical or artistic out of items that have outlived their original purpose. The contest is free to enter.

“The level of creativity displayed by past entrants is amazing,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director. “I can’t wait to see what this year brings.”

EcoArt is being overseen by The Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO). There will be three age categories: Child (ages 5-11 years), Youth (12-17), and Adult (17 and up). Entry forms are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf. All entries must be original, and can be brought to Earth Festival on Saturday, April 21 between9:30 and 11am. Prizes will be awarded in each age category. Winners will be announced at the end of the event.

An environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist, Earth Festival will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information or to donate, visit occainfo.org.