New Year’s Resolutions. It’s that time of the year when we can again take a look at some of our recycling habits to determine if they can be improved. Many of our Fillmore County residents are very conscientious recyclers, but can perhaps make a few minor improvements. There are also quite a number of you who could take recycling somewhat more seriously. Please use the following paragraphs to assist you in becoming a better recycler. With your help, we get closer to attaining the recycling goals of your county.
Most of us are aware that paper is highly recyclable. Tons and tons of various forms of paper products are brought to the recycling center each week. Households in Fillmore County get more than their share of catalogs, junk mail, and magazines each week. We want all that stuff when you no longer have a need for it, so please recycle these materials along with your newspaper and cardboard. Containers that once held cereal, pop, pet food, crackers, and all those tubes from paper towels, toilet tissue, plastic wrap, parchment paper, and aluminum foil should be recycled. We will also accept your shredded paper, but please put it into a box that can be closed or a paper bag that is taped or tied shut. Phone books are also meant to be recycled, not buried in the landfill.
Plastic bottles and jugs are brought here by the thousands, but thousands more find their way to the landfill. Please remove and deposit the plastic caps in your garbage because they contaminate the bottle plastic during the melting process. Steel/tin cans are completely recyclable, including the lids. Glass bottles of all colors and jars that once contained purchased food should be recycled. The metal caps from glass bottles and jars are recyclable as well.
Become more aware of battery disposal. Ordinary alkaline batteries from your flashlight or smoke detector can be placed with landfill garbage after taping the posts. This is especially necessary with 9-volt batteries that can cause sparks if given the opportunity. Please recycle your rechargeable batteries when they are no longer useable. Thousands of “button batteries” found in watches and especially hearing aids are discarded every month. Bring them to the Resource Recovery Center or to Household Hazardous Waste Day. They contain cadmium, mercury, lithium, and other hazardous materials that are not environmentally friendly.
Bring those burned out CFLs to the Resource Recovery Center as well. There is a fifty cent charge per CFL, but again you don’t want that mercury and its vapor, no matter how small the amount, released into the atmosphere or buried somewhere where it will get into your plants, animals, or drinking water. Less than 50 are brought to the RRC each month, which means hundreds are most likely being landfilled.
Please make a real serious attempt to keep all plastic bags of all sorts out of the recycling. Grocery bags should be taken back to a store that will recycle them. If they are not clean and dry, they should be included in your landfill garbage. Do not leave your recyclables in plastic bags at the recycling center. Empty their contents into the bin and dispose of the bags correctly.
Happy New Year from the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center and Fillmore County Recycling.