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Why Didn’t They Take My Recycling? Common Recycling Mistakes to Avoid

Curbside recycling is a truly helpful service. However, if you put things in your recycling bin that are not accepted curbside, they will not take it. Then you will need to store your recycling for another 2 weeks and it will pile up.

Wondering if something can be recycled? Find out here:

These common errors keep the haulers from taking recycling away:

Padded envelopes are not accepted.

Plastic bags are not accepted curbside. Bring clean plastic dry bags to a grocery store that recycles them or the entrance of Walmart or Lowes, etc.

Styrofoam is not recyclable.

Plastics without a #1, #2 or #5 on the bottom are not accepted curbside. Look for a #1, #2, or #5. Don’t see it? Put it in the trash.

**At the dump there is an area for rigid plastics (ice cube trays, trash cans, plastic storage tubs, hangers, etc). If you want these recycled, bring them to the dump.

Electronics are not accepted curbside

**At the dump there is an area for electronics (keyboards, phones, computers, vacuums, etc). If you want these recycled, bring them to the dump. Otherwise they go in the trash.



Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Detector Chirping or Beeping? Here’s What to do

When a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is making a loud alarm noise every second, it may be an emergency and you need to leave the house immediately. 

If there is a fire, leave immediately and call 911.

If there is danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, leave immediately and call 911.

If a “combo” (smoke detector and carbon monoxide) detector or carbon monoxide detector is making a constant loud alarm noise and you don’t see smoke, quickly make sure the stove and oven are completely off, turn off space heaters and any other gas-consuming appliances, open a window if it’s quick and easy, and immediately leave your apt. If it is easy for you to bring the alarm with you, do that.

First call 911, and the fire department will come test the air for carbon monoxide. And call management to let them know.

If the alarm is still sounding when you are in fresh air outside of the house, it may be a faulty alarm. Call management for a replacement.

If the alarm needs to be replaced, answer these questions when you tell management:

  1. Is it a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, or smoke and CO combo alarm? 
  2. Twist the detector off of the base. Can you just walk away with it, or is it hard-wired to the wall? 

If it has “10 year alarm” written on it and you are 100% sure that there is no fire or carbon monoxide but the alarm keeps sounding, management may ask you to follow instructions on the alarm to disable it.

In addition to gas stoves, a boiler, furnace or hot water heater could emit carbon monoxide. These are often in the basement in a separate room from all apartments.

If it is not an emergency, figure out what kind of alarm is sounding. There are a few kinds:

  1. Smoke detector. Figure out which kind of smoke detector it is. There are 3 versions:
    -battery operated with batteries (AA or 9V) you can replace
    -10 year alarm with non-replaceable battery (the whole alarm needs to be replaced)
    -hard-wired (if you twist the alarm off of the base you will see wires holding it to the house)
  2. Carbon monoxide detector. Most have replaceable AA or 9V batteries
  3. Combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Figure out which kind of detector it is
    -battery operated with batteries (AA or 9V) you can replace
    -10 year alarm with non-replaceable battery (the whole alarm needs to be replaced)
    -hard-wired (if you twist the alarm off of the base you will see wires holding it to the house)

Just chirping about once a minute? Replace the batteries

“Chirping” is when the alarm beeps about once every minute. This is not a constant loud alarm noise. Chirping means the battery needs to be replaced or the alarm has expired. Please have a couple 9 volt batteries and AA batteries in your apartment at all times in case this happens.

Cannot find where the batteries are? It may be a 10 year alarm and you cannot replace the batteries.

If it says 10 year alarm on it and it keeps chirping or sounding when there is no danger, call management to have it replaced.

Still chirping after you replace the batteries? Call management to get it replaced.

If you put in new batteries and the alarm is still chirping, it might be expired. Many alarms last 10 years. There is usually an install date on the alarm. Tell management what kind of alarm it is so they bring the right one (ex: hardwired combo alarm, battery operated smoke detector, etc)

Is it a hard-wired alarm chirping?

If the alarm is attached to the ceiling or wall with wires, it is “hard wired”. If there is a backup battery, replace the battery, put the alarm back and press the test button. If the alarm keeps chirping even with a new battery, either the alarm has expired or the electrical circuit it is on may need to be reset. Call management and they will come over or talk you through it.

Can’t find the chirping alarm in your apartment?

Email management. The alarm may be in your neighbor’s apartment and they are away, or in a shared hall or in the basement.

Smoke alarm keeps sounding every second even though there is no fire? Open windows and fan the alarm

If there is no smoke or fire and it is a smoke detector beeping, open windows and fan the alarm with a towel. Heat and smoke from cooking or even a steamy shower could set off an alarm when there is not actually a fire. If this happens consistently, ask management if they can move the alarm.

Excessive dust can make detectors malfunction

If you are sanding wood or doing something else that emits many particles into the air in your apt, you may be damaging your detectors and they may malfunction.

Info from the Emergency Guide: 


  • A working smoke alarm is required in every bedroom and in the vicinity of every bedroom, as well as in the hallways and common areas of the building. Carbon Monoxide detectors are located within 15 feet of every bedroom. Some models are a combination alarm for both smoke and carbon monoxide.
  • Keep detectors dust free and free of any covering that will reduce the sensitivity to heat or smoke.
  • If there is a detector directly wired to your electrical system be sure that the signal light located on the detector is blinking periodically.
  • Never remove a battery or disconnect a detector unless it is chirping from low battery and you are replacing the battery. Some detectors are ten year detectors, and the battery in those cannot be replaced. If a detector is not functioning or it is going off sporadically, contact maintenance immediately for replacement or service. It is a misdemeanor punishable by fine and or imprisonment to tamper with or disable any fire protection device.
  • Detectors may be on the ceiling or wall. Some are plug in models and may be in an outlet.


How to Set up Electric and Gas with NYSEG

Before your lease begins, you can set up your electric and/or gas service to start on your lease start date. 

  1. Figure out your meter number(s). You have 3 options:
    1. Look on the “good to know” page we emailed you with info about your house, and your meter number might be listed there.
    2. If there are no meter numbers listed on the house “good to know” page and you are not in Ithaca yet, you can try to register with the house address and apt number in place of the meter number.
    3. If you are in Ithaca, you can find the meter and read the number (see image below).
  2. If you do not already have a NYSEG account, call NYSEG at 1-800-572-1111. When we checked in July 2022, NYSEG no longer allowed new customers to register online. They required the new customer to call NYSEG in order to register. But it could have changed since then! 
  3. If you already have a NYSEG account, go to , choose “My Account”, and see if you can “Turn service on” and answer the questions for your new meter(s).

This might work in place of a phone call, but a phone call might be easier: Fill out the Request for Service pdf and email it to

You have 2 options for reading the meter amount before you start paying the bill:

  1. Ask NYSEG to come read the meters
  2. OR you can do a meter read on your own and send it to NYSEG. 

NYSEG will schedule a time for them to come read your meter after you request to turn on the service OR you can do your own meter reading to get your account started faster. You can find the electric and/or gas meters by walking around the house and going in the basement. 

They usually look like this:

Take photos of the meters where the meter number and measurement gauges are visible so that you can do a meter reading or just follow the steps here: 

More info on setting up your NYSEG service:

  1. NYSEG has already read the meters at your house, so they know where they are. If the meters are indoors (ex: basement), they know how to get in. 
  2. E-billing service means that your bills will be emailed to you rather than mailed to you as a hard copy. Electronic Funds Transfer Enrollment means you can enter your bank account info and NYSEG will automatically withdraw your bill payment each month. Both of these options may make it easier for you to pay your NYSEG bill on time.  
  3. If you do not know the name of the previous tenant and the NYSEG form asks you for this, simply leave it blank or write “I don’t know” 
  4. If the NYSEG form asks you for the landlord’s contact info, enter “True Renew Homes, PO Box 524, Ithaca NY 14851”  
  5. If the NYSEG form asks for Third Party Notification Service, enter “True Renew Homes, PO Box 524, Ithaca NY 14851”  
  6. Email to let us know you have successfully set up your NYSEG account.

Recent Tenant Reviews

Alicia and Jonah were the ideal landlords. The tenant/landlord relationship can often feel strained or uneven in power, but they were always fast and attentive to my needs without being overbearing in any way. When I did finally move out they even gave me chocolate as a parting gift! I would genuinely recommend renting from these stress-free folks.


Contact: Who to Call if you Need Something

Call us: 607-261-1949

Email us:

For URGENT requests that are safety hazards and/or will cause damage if not addressed within a couple hours (ex: no heat in winter, overflowing toilet, etc), call and text Mike and include your name and address: 607-331-5005

For non-urgent repair requests (ex: dripping faucet, etc) please submit a repair request in your Rentec portal.

Always call the fire department or police or 911 first if there is a serious issue that they address.

Ithaca Police: 607-272-9973. If no one answers the first number call 607-272-3245

In case of fire: 911

We have had multiple fires in our houses. Smoking materials and candles are a serious danger as well as unsafe space heaters. None are permitted in our buildings.

No water in the whole house? It may be city maintenance. You can check: 607-272-1718

No electricity in the whole house? It’s probably a NYSEG outage: 1-800-572-1111

No electricity in part of your apartment? Look on for instructions on resetting your circuit breaker. Notice what electricity you were using simultaneously when the electric went out and refrain from doing that again.

Smell gas? It may be another building nearby. Call NYSEG gas emergency to see if it has already been reported: 1-800-572-1121 and let maintenance know too.

True Renew Homes How to Stay Warm in Fall

Staying Warm in Autumn

We usually do not turn furnaces on until after October 1st, when the temperatures drop below 50 degrees some nights. Late September and October is when our newer tenants contact us the most about being chilly. Tenants who renewed know that when the temperature drops in November, they will feel warmer.

Don’t be afraid that you will be cold all winter!

Here are 10 ways to be comfortable during Autumn in Ithaca:

  1. First consider what you are wearing. Are you still wearing shorts and sandals when the temperatures at night drop and the furnace is turned on in October? It’s probably time to wear socks, pants, and a couple layers of shirts.
  2. Get a heavy blanket for your bed.
  3. Dress in layers. It is really the key to being happy in Ithaca’s wildly fluctuating temperatures. You can peel off your layers once you’re sweating from walking up the hill, and still be comfortable at the end of the day when it’s much colder and you are walking home.
  4. Check the weather every day when you get dressed.
  5. Invest in a few pairs of quality socks like Smartwool.
  6. Wear leggings under your pants when it gets cold.
  7. Get boots that are waterproof, insulated and have good treads.
  8. Are your feet cold in your bed or when you are sitting at your desk? Hot water bottles are amazing.
  9. If you have storm windows (an additional layer of glass that opens and closes on the outside of your window), make sure they are closed.
  10. Make sure your windows are completely closed and locked if possible.

Bonus: Seal gaps in windows with rope caulk. It is easy to remove in the spring, and it can make a big difference.