Dear Recycle Lady

Dear Recycle Lady

This column relates to recycling policies, procedures, tips, tricks and more for recycling programs in Greenbrier County, WV. Other programs and facilities in other locales may operate based on different approaches. Also please be advised, the market and technologies are ever evolving, and all information posted here is subject to change. Keep up the Good Fight! Going Green, Works!

Dear Recycler,

Good question. Yes, the drip pans are recyclable. Be sure they are clean and free of grease and oils. You will need to take them to the Recycling Center during operation hours as they go in a box with metal containers. In fact, anything that a magnet sticks to and is not a can is put in this box.

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Dear Most Curious,

Yes, there are several excellent websites that give information about recycling. Earth911.com is one of my favorite sites. It has a great search feature that will answer most any question that you have. The websites RecycleNation.com and PaperRecycles.org are two other good sites. There are two local websites, Greenworks Recycling and Greenbrier County Solid Waste Authority that have recycling information as well as past Dear Recycle Lady columns. Hopefully, you will find these sites interesting and full of useful information.

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Dear Just Curious,

Most of the time the answer to your question is yes.  As long as you do not have an excessive amount of glue on paper and poster board, you can recycle them with paper. However, if the glued item is on waxy-feeling paper, it can’t be recycled.

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Dear Prefers Paper,

Yes, the Recycling Center in Ronceverte accepts these bags. Brown paper bags are recycled with cardboard. White paper bags are recycled with white/office paper. Plastic bags can be put in the recycling bins at Kroger or Walmart. Have you considered taking your own bags when shopping, especially at the grocery store? Many sizes and shapes are available that are environmentally friendly. It takes a while to get into the habit of taking your own bags, but it is worth the effort.

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Dear Reader,

Good question. Yes, the Recycle Center does accept submersible well pumps. When you take the pump to the Center, follow the sign for recycling aluminum cans. There will be someone there to help you unload the pump.

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Dear Recycler,

The Recycling Center accepts used ink jet printer cartridges for recycling, but does not pay for them. There are, however, several businesses, for example Staples, that will give you credit on purchases when you bring in the used cartridges.

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Dear Foiled in Lewisburg,

No, aluminum foil doesn’t go with aluminum cans, but goes in a separate bag/bin with pie pans. Don’t be fooled by the “fake” aluminum bags inside a cracker or chip box or bag. It appears to be aluminum on one side, but it isn’t. Test it. If you crumble up a piece of aluminum, it will stay in a ball. If it isn’t, it unwraps itself. According to earth911.com, “aluminum is one of the highest-value materials you can recycle and can be reprocessed into new aluminum in only 60 days. Although nearly 75 percent of aluminum produced in the U.S. is still being used, Americans dispose of enough aluminum foil each year to annually build an entire aircraft fleet.” Aluminum foil is 100% recyclable, so please take the time to clean it, put it in a separate bag and send it to be recycled.

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Dear Reader,

Thanks for the question. The Recycling Center accepts large rechargeable batteries, such as those for cordless tools, but does not pay for them. They do accept, and pay for, car batteries and lawn mower batteries regardless of whether they will charge or not. I am sorry to say, they do not accept alkaline batteries of any kind, which according to information from battery manufacturers, are now safe to put in the landfill.

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Dear Confused,

Recycling is picked up in Rolling Hills Estates every other week, same as in Lewisburg. Pickups take place on the same day as your normally scheduled trash pickup. In Rolling Hills, that is Thursday. This week, the week of July 15, is pickup week for everyone in the city of Lewisburg. The next pickup week will be two weeks from now, the week of July 29, and every two weeks thereafter. A couple years ago, the pickup schedule varied, which may be the cause of confusion.

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Dear Not So Happy Recycler,

You are absolutely correct. Greasy cardboard, of any kind, must not be recycled. It only takes one greasy item to contaminate an entire batch. Cleanliness is not only important when recycling cardboard, but it is critical for everything that goes to recycling so that contamination doesn’t happen. When recycling cardboard boxes don’t forget to remove any packing materials, such as plastic, foam or Styrofoam peanuts. You do not need to flatten the boxes before recycling. Recycling cardboard important because it saves energy and it takes up so much space in the landfill. (Cardboard is the single largest component of municipal solid waste around the world.) To make new boxes out of recycled cardboard requires only 75% of the energy used to make new cardboard. Definitely better for our environment.

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Dear Sounds Good,

I haven’t used the wool balls yet, but after I read your question I went to Walmart and purchased some. These balls are made of 100% sheep’s wool with no chemicals added. They are clearly sustainable and environmentally friendly. The balls work by bouncing around in your dryer and separating the clothes. This bouncing increases the hot air flow which shortens drying time and saves on energy. My research says they soften clothes naturally and reduce winkles, lint and pet hair. All this, plus they save you money as they can be used several hundred times and dryer sheets are not needed. Sounds like a win-win to me. Readers, if you have used these balls, please let us know if they are as good as they sound. recyclelady@greenbrier-swa.com

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Dear Love to Cook,

Thanks for the question. If the outside of your can is steel, it recycles with steel cans. The white coating probably is not plastic, but regardless of what it is, the can recycles with steel cans.

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Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.