When the mercury dips below zero, it's time to check your thermostat-and your recycling facts. Most mercury thermostats end up in our landfills and incinerators, contaminating our waterways and food supply. This month we'll help you properly dispose of products that contain mercury and we'll give you hot tips on upcoming Stop 'N' Swaps, electronics recycling, Christmas tree recycling and free indoor exhibits (some with free beer!). Those on extended hibernation can head straight to the link for the NYC Master Composter Course application, which will get you outdoors in time for the nicer weather.

'Tis the season to make sure your thermostat is working! According to the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, over 300,000 mercury thermostats are removed from walls each year, and almost 99 percent of them are sent to landfills and incinerators. While thermostats containing mercury are no longer sold in New York and their disposal in the trash is illegal, more than a ton of this neurotoxin ends up in New York's landfills and incinerators from improperly discarded mercury thermostats. Proper disposal will soon get easier, with the passage of a new state law that requires manufacturers to provide recycling at no cost to the consumer.

Learn how to properly dispose of products that contain mercury.
Treecycle at MulchFest

If you put up a real tree for the holidays, now's the time to chip in at MulchFest! Trees (cleaned of stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments) can be dropped off at designated sites ahead of time, and on January 11 & 12 from 10am-2pm they will be recycled into mulch for NYC parks. Select sites will offer unlimited mulch for your yard, garden or street tree. If you miss MulchFest, the city will pick up trees (also stripped of ornaments, etc) curbside through Wednesday, January 15. This year, trees will also be used to create dunes on beaches in the Rockaways that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Learn more. 

NYC Master Composter Certificate Course
Become the greenest neighbor on your block with the NYC Master Composter Certificate Course! You'll learn about setting up your own compost system, using finished compost and techniques for teaching others about composting. Classes are offered in all five boroughs. Get dates and application info.
Upcoming Events
Stop 'N' Swap® - Upper East Side
Saturday, January 11, 12pm-3pm
MS 167 Robert F. Wagner
220 E 76th St (b/t 2nd and 3rd Aves), Manhattan
Start the New Year right at NYC's ultimate re-gifting event. Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, housewares, games, books & toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you, free! You don't have to bring something to take something. No furniture or large items, please. Learn more.
Broadway Library Book Swap
Saturday, January 11, 2pm-4pm
40-20 Broadway, Astoria
Bring your gently used books (kids and adult) to the library to swap for free, new-to-you works of literature or escapist fluff while meeting fellow library-goers and members of the community. Leftover books will be donated to Queens Library so please only bring books in good condition.
Electronics Recycling with the LES Ecology Center
Responsibly recycle unwanted or broken electronics (no appliances such as microwaves or refrigerators) at winter events sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center. All events 10am-4pm. Click here for a list of what's accepted.

Saturday, January 11 - Financial District & Morrisania
Sunday, January 12 - Flushing
Saturday, January 18 - Chelsea
Sunday, January 19 - Park Slope
Saturday, January 25 - Staten Island
Sunday, January 26 - Two Upper West Side Locations 
Discard Sculptures at Bronx Museum
Through February 16
1040 Grand Concourse b/t 165th & 166th Sts
Find your way to the Bronx Museum, where admission is always free and sculptures made from everyday and found objects are currently on exhibit. On January 10 the museum will host an Artist Spotlight with sculptor Tony Feher at 6:30pm, featuring beer from the Brooklyn Brewery. Learn more.  
Project Carton
9am-9pm Daily through January 30
Fashion Institute of Technology
P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, 7th Ave at 27th St
Ever read your milk carton while you eat your cereal? Students in FIT's Packaging Design course are practicing the art of innovative packaging design with Project Carton, an exhibit that brings new perspective to the design of the coated cardboard cartons we most commonly see in dairy cases. Visitors at the street front gallery display can walk in and around giant cartons while learning about sustainable packaging methods and the successful school carton recycling efforts of GrowNYC's Recycling Champions Program. Hosted by FIT in partnership with Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in creating fiber-based sustainable packaging solutions.
GrowNYC's OFFICE OF RECYCLING OUTREACH & EDUCATION (OROE) works to improve the City's recycling rate by educating residents about recycling and waste prevention, and working with landlords to make sure building recycling programs are adequate. Our free services include apartment building recycling audits, trainings for tenants and supers, community events centered on education and special collection programs for textiles, electronics, and compost. OROE's current intensive efforts target one-quarter of New York City's residents. Our five borough-wide coordinators work on a community-by-community basis to identify and address the specific challenges to recycling within a Community District. For more information visit www.grownyc.org or call 212-788-7964.   
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