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Styrofoam, tennis balls, wood pellets and more will be collected for recycling at the thirteenth annual Earth Festival on April 22, at Milford Central School. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Although more items can be recycled than ever before, most communities don’t have organized programs for collecting beyond traditionally-recycled items,” said Leslie Orzetti, executive director of the Otsego County Conservation Association. “We’re happy to provide members of the community the option to dispose of material that would otherwise end up in the landfill.”

The following items will be collected at Earth Festival: clean, white Styrofoam, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones and other small (up to tablet sized) electronics, tennis balls, wood pellet bags, and used monofilament fishing line, and natural cork from wine bottles. As part of the TerraCycle recycling program, OCCA will also be collecting oral care products (including used toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging, empty toothpaste tubes, and dental floss and dental tape containers) and writing implements (used pens, markers, highlighters and mechanical pencils).

Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s Recycling Committee and a member of the Earth Festival Planning Committee, said it’s especially important to follow directions when bringing Styrofoam to Earth Festival for recycling.

“For the second year, our Styrofoam is going to Madison County to be recycled as part of their program,” Clarvoe said. “They can’t take colored Styrofoam or packing peanuts. Only rigid foam with a number six recycling triangle, or identical to foam with a number six recycling triangle can be accepted.” She added that Styrofoam should be brought to Earth Festival in clear plastic bags.

OCCA is not alone in collecting items at Earth Festival. The Lion’s Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses, and Soles to Share, a non-profit run by Cooperstown High School students, will be collecting shoes to distribute to those in need.

Once again, Empire Recycling will be on hand with their Confidata paper shredding service for free disposal of confidential household or business documents. The Confidata shredder truck will be in the school parking lot, just outside the entrance to Earth Festival, and will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All other recycling will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All recycling services are free, though donations to help support Earth Festival are welcome.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call (607) 547-4488, or visit occainfo.org.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group 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 on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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