When the weather warms up, many of us take the opportunity to make progress on spring cleaning. This often leaves us with an array of items we do not regularly dispose of. As you’re clearing out junk, picking up yard waste and otherwise filling garbage bags in the coming weeks, here are some tips for cleaning up and properly disposing of waste.

Remember, curbside and drop-off recycling programs can only recycle specific types of items—namely: bottles, jugs, jars tubs (glass or plastic), beverage and food cans (steel or aluminum) and clean paper. No other items should be placed in your recycling containers. BUT- they may still be easily recyclable with a little bit of planning on your part.

Household items and outdoor furniture

Do a sweep of your living spaces for unwanted clutter and items you no longer use. After you’ve collected a pile of unwanted items, make a plan for thoughtful disposal. Clinton County’s Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore will accept gently used furniture and household items. They may even be able to pick up donation items—or help you unload if you deliver items yourself. The Wilmington Goodwill is also an organization to keep in mind to donate household materials as well as unneeded clothing items. For items unsuitable for donation, call your regular trash provider regarding bulk pick-up or haul items directly to the Wilmington Sanitary Landfill.

Yard Waste/Vegetation

Now that the snow is (hopefully) gone for good, you’re probably starting to notice branches, old leaves and other unwanted brush have accumulated. Yard waste is easily composted and can be diverted from the landfill and put to good use. If you compost at home, this is a great option for yard waste. If you do not compost yourself, the City of Wilmington maintains an Ohio EPA regulated Class IV composting site for disposal of yard waste and vegetation.

Rules for yard waste disposal are different for residents living within the City of Wilmington and those who live outside city limits.

If the City of Wilmington provides your regular trash service, you may find the specific rules and regulations for yard waste pickup on the City’s Sanitation department webpage (https://wilmingtonoh.org) or call (937) 382-6474 for details.

If you live outside city limits, you may still bring your yard waste to the facility for composting at a charge of $10/cubic yard.

Grills/BBQs:

Even though grills are made of metal, they are not accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling locations (remember—food and beverage cans only!). Old/non-working grills CAN however be sold for scrap at Wilmington Iron & Metal or any other commercial scrap yard. If you have old propane tanks, DO NOT place them in a recycling container—they can be recycled or refilled by Blue Rhino at Lowes Home Improvement, Collett Propane or check with your local propane dealer.

Flower pots/flats:

Along the same lines as grills, even though many flower pots are plastic, they are not accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling locations (remember—bottles, jugs, jars and tubs only!). That said, talk to the nursery you purchased your flowers from. They may accept them back for reuse or offer a specialized recycling service. If they do not accept them back, these items need to be disposed of in your regular trash service. Ceramic pots are not glass and thus not recyclable either.

Garden hoses:

Unfortunately, there are not many eco-friendly options for garden hose disposal. Although they may look like plastic, they are made up of many non-recyclable materials. Not only are they not recyclable, but hoses, much like plastic bags, cause big problems for sorting facilities across the U.S. When placed in curbside recycling carts or drop-off containers and transported to recycling facilities, hoses often get lodged in trucks, wrapped around gears and get tangled in conveyor belts. This all leads to a decrease in productivity at recycling centers. Instead, garden hoses should be placed inside your regular household garbage carts for safe disposal or reused in creative ways. Ideas include doorstops, blade protectors, or even protecting small hands from getting pinched by chains on swings.

Regulated Waste materials:

Household Hazardous Waste:

What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)? It can be any leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them. Please DO NOT pour them down the drain. They pollute the environment and plat havoc on water treatment facilities.

Clinton County Solid Waste Management District is partnering with the City of Wilmington Stormwater Department to offer free, proper disposal options for Clinton County residents during a one-day event held in conjunction with the annual Scrap Tire Recycling event.

Scrap tires:

Proper disposal of scrap tires is highly regulated and enforced. This can make it challenging for private residents to dispose of scrap tires by themselves. They are definitely not recyclable in curbside or drop-off programs, so…what can you do with them?

Clinton County Solid Waste Management District with assistance from OEPA is providing disposal options to verified Clinton County Residents for scrap passenger tires for $1/each during a 1-day event, Saturday, April 29 from 9-12 p.m. Also available at this event, thanks to a partnership between the City of Wilmington Stormwater Department and CCSWMD is household hazardous waste disposal. Everyone who wishes to recycle their scrap tires must pre-register. Check out the District’s website for more details: www.co.clinton.oh.us/recycling.

As we transition into longer days and warmer weather, let’s make it a goal to manage or dispose of materials the best way possible. Visit www.co.clinton.oh.us/recycling for more information and local recycling resources.