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 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 and jars (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.
Household items, 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.
Goodwill in Wilmington 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 with a little planning.
If you compost at home, this is a great option for this material. 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.
Even though grills are made of metal, they are not accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling locations — remember: 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 Lowe’s or at Collett Propane.
Flower pots and flats
Even though many flower pots are plastic, they are not accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling locations —remember: bottles, jugs and jars only!
That said, talk to the nursery you purchase 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.
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.
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 the Ohio EPA, is providing disposal options to verified Clinton County residents for scrap passenger tires for $1/each during a one-day event — 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 24 at the Clinton County Engineer’s Office.
Check out the District’s website for more details at www.co.clinton.oh.us/recycling.
That said, the better question to ask, is why do you have scrap in the first place? Most tire retailers build the price of tire disposal into the cost of replacement tires. If you are already paying for the old tires to be disposed of, let the tire retailer figure out proper disposal!
If you are the victim of illegal dumping of large amounts of scrap tires, call SWMD staff to discuss options or to see if your situation is appropriate for a clean-up grant.
As we transition into longer days and warmer weather, lets make it a goal to manage or dispose of materials in the most proper manner possible.
Visit www.co.clinton.oh.us/recycling for more information and local recycling resources.