Where Does our stuff Go?

What happens to everything we throw "away"?

Most of us never think about our waste after we bring it to the curb. The journey may surprise you.


Trash generated in Hastings does not go to a landfill, but is incinerated at the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant in Peekskill, NY. ZWAT aims to keep as much material out of the incinerator as possible and send it on to better use.

Think: reuse first, compost second, recycle third.

Watch a video about the Wheelabrator here.

  • When our trash is picked up, it is first brought to the MRF (Material Recovery Facility) located in Yonkers, across the Thruway from Costco and Home Depot.

  • It is weighed and carted to the Weelabrator in Peekskill. Our Village is billed a fee based on this weight.

  • While our trash is not creating methane at a landfill, it does generate CO2 when burned. Either way, the less trash we make, the better.

  • Remember, "keep it out of the landfill" thinking doesn't exactly apply to us in Hastings – but think: "keep it out of the incinerator"!


When our recycling is picked up, it is also carted to the MRF, sorted by hand and machine, and then baled and sold. This photo shows just a tiny bit of what we send to be recycled.

See the plastic bags? These complicated processing and should never be included in your recycling.

  • Know what you can and cannot recycle. Review this list here.

  • Make sure your recyclables are clean. Why? If enough households do it incorrectly our entire load could be considered contaminated, rejected, and sent to the incinerator.

  • Contamination is caused by inclusion of incorrect items and dirty items. Clean out those peanut butter jars and only recycle what's allowed!

  • Don't "wishcycle" and include something you're not sure about. When in doubt, throw it out.

  • Our biggest contamination is PLASTIC BAGS. Do not bag your recycling. It gets caught in the sorting machines.

  • You can tour the MRF! Schedule your tour here.


Our food scraps are picked up from our DPW, carted to Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in Kingston, NY, turned into compost and sold.

  • Simply begin collecting your scraps and bring them to the collection bins at our DPW at 67 Southside Avenue. For more detailed instructions click here.

  • You can also work with Hudson Compost Services to arrange for curbside pickup. Learn about them here.

  • Know what you should and should not compost. Keep it to food and plants and do not include "compostable" material like cups and utensils. See the complete list below.

  • Learn about UCCRA here.

  • Composting is most effective when done as locally as possible -- like your backyard. Then, it doesn't need to be transported as ours does. For backyard composting instructions and tips, click here.

What about the rest?

There are ways to properly discard and recycle other items like E-Waste and textiles. This list below should help.

  • E-Waste: drop at Valhalla MRF here.

  • Textiles: drop clothes or ripped and stained fabrics in the Green Tree Textiles recycling bin at every Hastings Farmers Market.

  • Electronics or Metal: Schedule a pickup with DPW here.

  • Hazardous materials: drop at the Valhalla MRF here.

  • Batteries: drop at Moms Organic Market in Dobbs Ferry to be recycled or drop at Valhalla MRF here.