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Recycling 101


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in All Home & Garden

By LaVerne C. Paulson, Recycling Education Coordinator

I am often asked where all the stuff that is found here in the Recycling Center comes from. The shortest and easiest answer is homes and businesses of Fillmore County. Tons and tons of recyclable material are brought to the Recycling Center every week. All of it finds its way here by one of three methods. I would like to share some information on each of these methods and why different ones work so well for different residents.

Curbside collection brings in a lot of the material. For our county residents who have curbside collection available to them, it is a very convenient way to get their recyclables to the recycling center. There are several solid waste haulers in Fillmore County that make their way through our cities each week collecting recyclables from a majority of the households. All sorts of containers filled with recyclable items are left near the curb to be emptied into trucks or trailers. Residents with access to an alley will often use the alternate alley collection. Recyclables cannot be placed in bags, but must be in a plastic or metal container, a paper bag or cardboard box, or bin to be emptied directly into the waste hauler’s truck or trailer. Recyclables in plastic bags will not be collected on recycling day.

There are six locations throughout the county where you can find Rural Recycling Containers. These are very large green “roll-off” containers that measure 24 feet long, eight feet wide, and five feet high. There are eight openings on the top, covered by hinged doors, where you can deposit your recyclables. All of your recyclable glass, steel, tin, aluminum, and plastic can be dumped directly into the container. No plastic bags are to be deposited into the rural containers, so dump your recyclables out of your plastic bags and take the bags home with you. You may also use these rural containers for recycling all forms of paper, including cardboard. Just drop it into any of the eight openings If you are going to recycle shredded paper, do not put it in a plastic bag and throw it into the roll-off. Shredded paper should be contained within a paper bag or enclosed in a cardboard box to keep it from blowing around the countryside.

Each of these large containers is loaded onto trucks and brought to the Recycling Center at least once a week. Here they are unloaded into one of the bins at the Recycling Center, then taken back to their specified location. Much too frequently, we find unrecyclable material in these containers. I must remind a few of you that these are not garbage containers, they are meant for recycling only. Landfill garbage and electronics dumped into these containers contaminate the good material and lower the value of your recyclables considerably.

These containers are available for your use 24 hours a day, every day. They are located in Peterson, Minn., Cherry Grove, Minn., Canton, Minn., and Spring Valley, Minn. One can be found at the Amherst Town Hall and two more south of Chatfield on County Road 5. There should be one of these relatively close to your home to make recycling a bit more convenient. Please remember, no landfill garbage and no plastic bags.

Many people who do not have access to curbside service or prefer not to use the rural containers, frequently visit the Recycling Center to drop off their recyclables. For a majority of them, this is the most convenient method of recycling they have found. They bring their bottles, cans, paper and cardboard and throw it on the pile. The Recycling Center is open from 7:30a.m. until 3:30p.m. Monday through Friday except for holidays. If the court house is open, the Recycling Center is open. The Recycling Center and Resource Recovery Center are also open the first Saturday of the month from 8 a.m until noon...unless there is a holiday involved. When in doubt, call 507-765-4704 for Saturday hours.

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