Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hubbard County Recycling and Waste Management

Hubbard County has a great Q&A sheet. So I'm cheating on this post and cutting and pasting this Q&A sheet, it describes what Hubbard waste management can do for our community.

Solid Waste Department Q & A

"What Can I Do"

“Slow the throw” and reduce your waste.

What Can I Do With Flashlight And Other Small Batteries Including Alkaline and Ni-Cads (Nickel-Cadmium)?
* If the battery is a non-chargeable you may dispose of it in the trash. If they are the “rechargeable” type battery you must recycle them. Button batteries from hearing aids etc. must be recycled. You can drop them at the recycling center or ask the business where you purchase them if they have a take back program for these types of batteries.

What Can I Do With Fluorescent Tubes And Ballasts?
* If you’re a household you can bring them to the transfer station or the recycling center. If you are a business please contact the recycling center or my office for instruction on how to handle your tubes. Fluorescent tubes contain Mercury and must be recycled, do not throw in the trash and do not break them. There is no fee to recycle these tubes for household or business. Ballasts are also accepted at no fee and are recycled along with the tubes.

What Can I Do With left Over Paint?
* If you have left over paint, first try to use it up as touch up or other projects. You can give it to a friend or neighbor to use it for it’s intended purpose, if it is a latex paint you can spread it on cardboard or plastic and dry it out. You can mix kitty litter with latex paint and dry it out. Once the can is empty you can recycle the can either the tin or plastic pails. If you have an oil base product and you can’t use it up or give it away then you must store it in a safe manner and turn it in on our spring or fall Household Hazardous waste collection.

I’m a business and have paint left over from building or remodeling what can I do?
*Your best bet is to use it on some wall of project. Currently we are unable to accept waste from any business so your restricted to utilizing it, giving it away or if a latex product drying it out and dispose of with your waste.

What Can I Do With Used Oil And Filters?
* Current Laws/rules requires the business where you purchase oil and filters to take back your used oil and filters or direct you to a site that does recycle these items. Our Transfer stations accept used oil and filters. The oil is recycled as well as the used filters. There is no fee to dispose of your oil and filters from your household. If you’re a business you must recycle used oil and filters and we can not accept business oil or filters at the transfer station. Recyclers will pick them up from your business for a fee.

What Can I Do With Household Solvents?
* The best thing to do with left over solvents is to use them up or store them for later use. When using solvents be sure to follow safety instructions on the container label. If you cannot use your solvents give them to someone who can. Common Solvents are Paint thinner, paint strippers, paint removers, degreasers, cleaners, grease-stain removers, and gasoline additives.

What Can I Do With Leftover Gasoline?
* The best way to handle leftover gasoline is to use it up, give it to someone else that may be able to. Farmers will often accept old gas and use it up in farm vehicles. The best is at the end of the season for your lawn mower for example run mower until the tank is empty. Use it up. The transfer stations will accept limited amount of left over gasoline please call the station nearest you for instruction. Always store gasoline carefully – in an approved container and in an area away from heat, sparks and flames.

What Can I Do With Antifreeze?
* Antifreeze doesn’t wear out and can last a long time. IF you have leftover antifreeze some service stations and auto maintenance shops may be willing to accept it form the public. We have no recycler in this area to accept and recycle antifreeze.

If you are connected to a municipal sewage treatment plant (city sewer) please contact the City Public works department to verify acceptance of antifreeze. If they do-simply flush used antifreeze down the toilet or sink with plenty of water. The major components of antifreeze can be treated by a sewage treatment plant.

DO NOT pour used antifreeze into your private onsite septic system. Antifreeze can damage your system and destroy the microorganisms that make your system work. Ask a friend who lives in town, connected to city sewer to dispose of your antifreeze.

DO NOT pour used antifreeze in storm sewers in the streets. Storm sewers empty directly into lakes and rivers without treatment. Farmers and heavy equipment operators may accept clean left over or used antifreeze to be used in equipment. Another possibility is someone with an outdoor wood burning
stove that uses antifreeze in the system.

What Can I Do With Left Over Pesticides?
* Herbicides, Insecticides and Rodenticides are the three common household pesticides. The best way to get rid of leftover pesticides is to use them up! Do not over use pesticides, please follow the label instructions. If you can’t use them up – give them to someone who can – to friends – neighbors, garden clubs, city park departments as an example. Contact the county extension agent for names of others
who can possible use left over pesticides.

DO NOT use or give away pesticides that are banned, unlabeled or damaged. If you can’t use them up or they are banned, unknown, or damaged you must store the pesticides carefully, away from children and pets. Then they must be brought to a household hazardous waste collection.

What Can I Do With Lawn Fertilizers?
* Use it up for its intended purpose. If you can’t use it, give it away to someone who can. If this isn’t possible then bring to the transfer station(s) and spread the fertilizer in our compost pile.

What Can I Do With Lawn Rakings, Clippings And Garden Vegetation?
* Compost them in your own backyard compost pile or bring them to the transfer station(s) for composting. When raking your lawns remove unwanted items such as large sticks, bones, cans, paper,
plastic and other non-compostible items. From earth it came to earth is can return. Contact the county extension agent on starting your own compost pile or other tips on a healthy lawn and garden.

What Can I Do With Motor Vehicle Batteries?
* In Minnesota it’s illegal to put batteries in the trash. Businesses that sell batteries must charge a $5.00 per battery core charge. They will then accept your old lead acid battery and refund you the core charge. So return your old battery to the supplier where you purchased your new battery from. If for
some reason you have a battery that you replaced by other means the transfer station will accept your battery at no charge for recycling. There are recycling containers at the transfer station for these batteries.

Recycle Them!

What Can I Do To Reduce Waste In My Home Or Business?
* You can buy green! That is you can purchase products in reusable, refillable, or returnable containers.
* You can purchase products in bulk and concentrates and only the amount you need. You can purchase products with less packaging.
* Rent, lease, or contract for services instead of buying infrequently used equipment.
* Choose durable products to reduce costs and waste associated with replacement.
* Use reusable coffee cups or plates.
* Purchase non-toxic biodegradable cleaners that contain low or non-volatile organic compounds. Use more elbow grease!
* Buy items that contain post – consumer recycled materials.
* Simply look before you throw! The item in your hand you’re about to dispose of, is it recyclable, compostible, reusable or trash?

What Can I Do To Get Started Recycling?
* It’s simply said but difficult to do because it takes some life style changes. Minor but still changes.
* In Hubbard County you need basically 3 or 4 containers. One for the non recyclable – trash; one for paper, newspaper and one for other recyclable items; and one for compostible items such as potato peeling and other vegetable waste. Many containers are recyclable such as a cardboard box or paper bag. We are fortunate that we can put tin, aluminum, glass and plastic containers in one bag here in Hubbard County and not separate containers for each. So once you set up these containers you simply have to change from throwing it in one container to placing it in one of four. You will find the recycling containers fill up fast and the trash one takes a lot longer to fill.So you can’t get to the transfer station every week with your trash. If you recycle there are 13 conveniently located recycle sheds throughout Hubbard County open 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year for your recyclable items.

Basically there is no reason or excuse not to recycle in Hubbard County. It is convenient,
easy, free and it’s the right thing to do for the environment. Besides that it makes you feel good and soon you’ll be hooked. You’ll be trash talking with the rest of us! Recycling createsjobs here in Hubbard County and that money stays in Hubbard County. When you trash your waste that money leaves here and never comes back. Hubbard County’s waste goes directly to a landfill. There is no sorting, no incineration it is hauled directly to a landfill and buried. Entombed forever, so if your not recycling there are valuable resource being wasted, buried forever, for what? You are the first step in reducing reusing and recycling. If not you then who? Your assistance is needed. It all starts with you! Be a waste watcher!

What Can I Do With Brush, Limbs, Pruning Waste?
* Our transfer stations have brush piles where brush, stumps, diseased tree waste and pruning is accepted. We currently are allowed to burn this waste with a burning permit form Dept. of Natural Resources. We have equipment and personnel to undertake these burns. We are researching possibilities of chipping this waste and use the chips for composting, landscaping or furnace fuel. However currently it is economically impossible to compete with a match. Bring these items to the transfer station for a controlled burning environment.

What Can I Do With My Old Major Appliance?
* If you have a major appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, washer or dryer and still in working order but you upgraded try to sell them (Craigslist) or give them to a friend or neighbor (Habitat for Humanity ReStore) who can use them. If these options aren’t available bring them to the transfer station. Let the attendants know they are in working order and we will set them aside and give them to someone who needsand can use them. If they are no longer working the transfer station accepts them in the scrap metal recycling area where they are processed. The freon and mercury switches are removed and they are then crushed, baled and shipped to a recycler along with other scrap metal items.

Recycle them!

What Can I Do With Reusable Items Such As Used Doors, Windows, Kids Old Tricycle, Bicycle, Toys, Bathtub, Pieces Of Lumber, Plywood, Paneling, Used Carpet Or Used Furniture?
* First if you don’t care to sell them on a rummage sale and the like, try giving them away to friends, neighbors or groups such as salvation Army, Shelters, or D.A.C. exchange and other similar groups or organizations. If this isn’t acceptable we have a materials exchange area at the transfer station where many such reusable items are dropped off. They are free to anyone who can reuse them or usethem.

We have people who repair bikes/tricycles/kids toys & wagons as hobbies and once finished they donate to needy families and children.

We have people who upgrade their furniture and the items they are removing area a welcome upgrade to needy families.

We have many people looking for a piece of wood, plywood or paneling because they have a project that they only need a scrap piece and rather than having to buy a full piece they really appreciate finding that item you thought was trash or unusable. Many hobbyist on limited income find a lot of use for scarp lumber from demolition, remodeling or new construction. So your trash is someone else’s treasure as the old saying goes. It’s more than a treasure if it is reused or recycled. In some cases it can change a life-! So rather than trash it – Exchange it.

One other option is to list these items on the North Central Materials Exchange (MATEX). This service lists both items that people want to get rid of and items that people need. Please list only items which can be reused. If the items are no good they should be treated as garbage and disposed of properly. Call the Hubbard Co Solid waste office or the MATEX office in Walker 218-547-7428 to place a free listing.

What can I do with an old building I plan to tear down?
* First make sure all hazardous waste and fixtures are removed. Remove all appliances and furniture. Then if there are reusable items such as doors, window, or lumber see if someone will remove them to reuse them. If not remove them and bring to the materials exchange area at the transfer station(s).
If the structure can be “de-constructed” and lumber salvaged and reused that is the preferable method. If not, then it’s a structure to be bulldozed, contact my office for an inspection before demolition starts. We will inspect to verify all non-acceptable items are removed. We can then discuss how loads should be segregated for proper disposal. There is a fee for demolition of such structure.Contact us before you call the bulldozer! It’ll save you money and headaches.

What Can I Do With My Used Tires?
* In Hubbard County we accept up to size 16.5 tires from county residents only free at the transfer station. These tires are recycled into rubber products or chipped and use as fuel. Tires larger the 16.5 will be accepted at the facilities but we must charge a fee for disposal. Larger tires are more difficult to handle and don’t fit into most recycling equipment. Tire distributors must charge you a fee to recycle your tires if and when you purchase tires from them. Business must still pay a disposal fee to us or a tire recycler to recycle your old tires.

What Can I Recycle In Hubbard County?
* The DAC through curbside collection, drop sheds or bins at the transfer station accept the following items: Aluminum cans; steel and tin cans; glass bottles; plastic containers #1’s, #2’s, & #4’s; newspaper/magazines/catalogs/phone books bagged or boxed together; office paper/junk mail bagged or boxed together; cardboard – corrugated only and clean odor free clothing boxed or bagged.

The transfer station accepts the following other items for recycling: Good appliances; furniture; doors; windows; dimensional lumber; siding; bundles of shingles; cabinets; lawn mowers; snow blowers; brush mowers; roto tillers; bicycles; tricycles; scrap iron/metal; bricks and blocks.

They also accept used oil; used oil filter; lead acid batteries; fluorescent tubes; ballasts; rechargeable batteries and small appliances; lawn rakings; grass clippings; and vegetable peelings are accepted for composting.
Hubbard County only recycled 41% or its volume last year so there is room for more recycling. More room to improve our habits and life style.

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