Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 8, 2013

Cleaning this spring? Remember to recycle

Officials encourage residents to put trash, junk to good use.

Galveston — Is the warm weather inspiring you to spruce up around the house? Clean out the garage? Trim up the yard?

Now that it’s actually starting to feel like spring, you might be getting the spring-cleaning itch.

But before you start hauling boxes of junk, piled-up trash or mounds of yard clippings to the curb — stop. Chances are the majority of the trash you’d be sending to the landfill could be easily reused or recycled for free.

“Everything is pretty much recyclable in one way or another,” said Tracy Johnston, recycling coordinator for the Howard County Recycling District. “If you’re doing some spring cleaning, go into it with the mindset that if you don’t have to throw it away, then don’t throw it away. Recycle it. You’ll be doing your community a service.”

And so far, a lot of city and county residents have taken Johnston’s advice. Director Mikki Jeffers said the recycling center has been swamped this week.

“Holy mackerel,” she said. “It’s been crazy. But that’s fine. It’s what we want.”

So if you’re scratching that spring-cleaning itch this week, here’s a breakdown of how to put your junk to better use than simply taking up space in a dump.

Yard waste

You’ve mowed the grass, cleaned up the flower bed, trimmed the bushes and picked up all the fallen tree limbs from your yard. Now what do you do with it all?

Take it to the Yard Waste Center located at 1130 S. Dixon Road. The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from now until Nov. 30. Make sure you stop by the office for an inspection and find out where to dump the materials. You must live in Howard County or own property in the county. Bring a current tax bill or utility bill to prove residency, and the name on your driver’s license must match the name on the bill.

Only raw materials will be accepted. No building materials, treated materials, sod, cement, gravel, sand, dirt, hay, straw, seeds, pods or nuts are allowed.

Residents will be charged a fee to dump.

Composting

But you don’t have to make a trip to the center to put your clippings to good use. You can always start a compost pile and use the material on your garden or flowers.

The recycling center suggests mixing raw organic matter, soil and fertilizer together in a pile where it will not be offensive to anyone.

Spread a 6- to 8-inch layer of organic matter over the area and place the coarsest material on the bottom, and moisten the layer with water.

Sprinkle garden fertilizer or manure over the layer of organic matter, then spread a layer of soil 1 to 2 inches thick on top. Continue to alternate the organic materials, fertilizers and soil until the heap is 3 to 5 feet high. Do not pack the heap, because air will not run through it.

Water each layer as it is added to the pile, and turn the pile once every two to four weeks.

The compost will be done in about six months when it’s dark, crumbly and has an earthy smell.

Johnston said whether you take your yard waste to the center or decide to start a compost pile, it’s better than putting it on the curb.

odds and ends

If you want to get rid of that old microwave or TV, the recycling center located at 4102 Cartwright Dr. accepts most small appliances and electronics like DVD players, cell phone and computer equipment at no cost.

But don’t bring anything that contains freon such as refrigerators or air conditioners. Take those to local scrap-metal yards like Omnisource, Newlon Metals or Hunt Salvage. They’ll remove the toxic chemicals and pay you for the metal.

Those businesses would also be happy to take that old clunker from your driveway for scrap metal.

If your appliances or electronics are still in good working condition, you might consider dropping them off at Goodwill or the Salvation Army along with those boxes of old clothes, knick-knacks and books.

Michael Adams, team leader at the Kokomo Goodwill, encourages people to keep nonprofit thrift stores in mind while cleaning out their closets and garages this spring.

“There’s not a whole lot you should throw away, because someone else can benefit from that stuff you don’t need anymore,” he said. “It’s worth your time to stop by and donate. You’d be helping the community.”

Other items such as plastic bags and compact fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at Lowe’s Home Improvement or Best Buy. Call Lowe’s at 765-453-1000 or Best Buy at 888-229-3770 for more information.

And don’t forget to properly dispose of unused cleaning supplies or old motor oil. The recycling center will take just about any hazardous waste, including things like paint, lead or insecticides. In fact, most homes in Howard County contain three to 10 gallons of these hazardous products, according the center’s website.

Make sure you stop in at front office and check in with the desk to fill out your paperwork at the time you drop off your materials. Have a question about disposing of a material? Call the recycling center at 765-456-2274.

In the end, Recycling Director Jeffers said taking a few extra minutes while sprucing up the house to see if your trash or junk could be reused or recycled isn’t just good for the community — it’s an easy, positive way to keep the planet healthy.

“We should all start looking at our household items a little bit differently,” she said. “It breaks my heart when I see boxes and trash hanging out of waste bins. By recycling, it’s going to help us reduce our carbon footprint.”

Household recyclables, such as paper, cardboard, metal cans and bottles, glass and plastic can be dropped off at area recycling centers. Go to http://bit.ly/14KeAQe for locations.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bus crash 1 8-1-14 Maconaquah bus crashes on first day of school BUNKER HILL — A Maconaquah school bus transporting students collided with a Jeep Liberty at the intersection of 800 South and U.S. 31 Friday morning on the corporation's first day of fall classes for the 2014-15 academic calendar. Paramedics, police

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami County struggles through computer shutdown PERU (AP) — A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt. Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Miami County governme

    August 1, 2014

  • Waterford Place looks to 11 senior living duplexes to campus More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo.Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat com

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects – including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics – were set to sta

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS - Summer Fest 02 Russiaville Summer Fest starts Friday RUSSIAVILLE — You think you can knock a baseball out of the park? There's a contest for that. If you love to sing, there's an activity for that. If you're afraid to sing but know the words to your favorite song, there's an activity for that, too. The

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • July 2014 has been the coldest on record Veteran Indiana residents are familiar with the old adage as it pertains to weather: "Hang out, it's sure to change." And, change it has. Just 24 months removed from the hottest July on record in 2012, the National Weather Service announced late Thur

    July 31, 2014

  • One injured in motorcycle crash A 50-year-old man suffered chest injuries when he crashed his motorcycle at Washington and Lafountain streets Wednesday afternoon. A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Tommie Barger of Kokomo was driving a 1983 Honda 1100 south on Lafoun

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck

    A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries