Flutterby™! : Pick up the things you require me to recycle.

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Pick up the things you require me to recycle.

2006-02-09 21:08:53.880918+00 by Diane Reese 7 comments

So if tough new rules have gone into effect today about disposing of potentially hazardous "e-waste", noting that landfills could become (further) contaminated from chemicals leaching out of electronics, batteries, etc., how come we are expected to transport the stuff to some disposal site somewhere? I honestly don't mind being informed that I must recycle this stuff: I'm happy to do that. But in my town, "recycling" = (company shows up on Monday after the trash people and before the yard waste people, and picks up bins of sorted stuff to recycle). If I have to recycle my "e-waste", come to me to get it (maybe once a month, maybe once a quarter, but not "never"). Don't make me find some friend with a pick-up truck who's willing to take me to all the various recycling places to drop stuff off... during limited hours on limited days each month. Feh.

The pile of "stuff" I've collected behind the house that can't be thrown away and has to be recycled at some special place is getting pretty big (tires, used oil, batteries, fluorescent tubes, old paint cans...). And is probably leaching in my local groundwater already, sigh....

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-09 21:39:23.601141+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wow, I didn't know that we were so lax on rules for such things. I've been doing that for disposal for many years now.

Around us the local health food stores and fire stations will take used flourescents and batteries (although I remember a little balking the last time I showed up with 80 lbs of lead-acid gel cells last time I switched out my big UPS batteries...), and any of the fast oil change chains will take used oil.

I also seem to remember that we get a hazardous waste pickup notice every few months, but it's so convenient for us to just run it over to the local hazardous waste facility we've never bothered.

I don't know who runs your local waste service, and whether it's individual contracts or a municipal one, but you could try to get a bunch of your neighbors together to ask that service, or the town council if it's a municipal contract, to help you out. We have an individual contract with Waste Management, so if we wanted special treatment we'd need to get together with our neighbors to ask for it, but my impression is that they're pretty open to anything that'll help them not end up dumping stuff that the landfill operators don't want to take, so they're willing to bend over backwards for customers who'll help them do that.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-09 22:22:43.441892+00 by: ebradway

What's ironic is that there are many common household items that always have been illegal to send to a landfill. This includes batteries and oil-based paints (including empty cans). In Hamilton County, we get free hazardous waste drop off once a month. I consider it a bargain.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-10 00:47:44.113045+00 by: Shawn

You guys sound like you have it nice, Dan and Eric. We can't even get our apartment complex to take the standard (newspaper, aluminum can) recyclables - although we're a bit of an abnormality (most complexes these days do collect).

When I was growing up there used to be lots of recycling locations around, but nearly all of them died off years ago. Unless you've got municipality-directed pick-up, recycling is quite a burden around here.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-10 01:32:54.754489+00 by: meuon

I'm learning that some of it, things with lots of metals like appliances and computers, bring 5+ cents per pound at the local scrap yard. Now if I can just take to top off of my truck to load up the old washer, dishwasher, and stack of old computers at the end of my driveway I'll make almost the gas money it takes to make it to 11th street.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-10 03:33:56.434821+00 by: ebradway

As far as recycling goes, we don't have it good. The apartment complex I live in has a newspaper bin (no other kind of paper) and an aluminum can bin. I don't get the newspaper and I don't drink stuff that comes in aluminum. So we make a weekly trip to the recycling center at Warner Park.

The other stuff isn't recycling - it's hazardous waste disposal...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-10 12:08:16.066874+00 by: DaveP

Here in Minneapolis, our neighborhood association does an annual hazardous waste pickup. One of the towing companies donates a truck, and a couple dozen people spend a Saturday in the fall picking up waste instead of raking leaves. Banding together with your neighbors like that is probably the simplest solution, and we invariably make enough on scrap metal to pay for the gas for the truck. Plus, as a bonus, I sometimes find "treasures" that are reusable.

But any place that sells oil is required by state law to accept used oil for recycling, the city picks up one appliance per week for free, and batteries go into the recycling just like cans and bottles (though they have to be bagged separately, and no bag can be over 40 lbs). Ditto compact fluorescents.

The only thing that's at all tricky is fluorescent tubes, because if you leave 'em out for recycling, the local college students invariably play lightsabers with them on the way home from the bar. Luckily the building I'm working in has about 20 boxes of used tubes waiting for recycling (the loading dock is the smoking area, so I was seeing them daily), and the maintenance guy was happy to take the four I had from home.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-10 22:54:16.884002+00 by: Nancy

Even though it goes against the advice of my lawyer-boss, I still am holding out hope of using the old dishwasher, the old washing machine and eventually the old refrigerator to create 'stovehenge' in the front yard. Just for a day or so... please?