CLUTTER CLEANUP: Fall recycling event takes TVs, tires and more

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HANCOCK COUNTY — Got a dusty old laptop or broken TV taking up space? Load it up and take it to the Recycle Hancock County Fall Collection Event this Saturday, Sept. 24.

From 9 a.m. to noon, the Hancock County Solid Waste District — also known as Recycle Hancock County — will be accepting electronics, tires, shoes and latex paint in the parking lot of Labcorp, located in the former Covance building at 671 S. Meridian St. in Greenfield.

Despite previous reports, hazardous waste like household cleaners, car batteries and oil-based paint and stain will not be included in the fall recycling event this year.

“Unfortunately the hazardous waste vendor we use had a fire at their facility, and we weren’t able to get another vendor to replace them,” said Dede Allender, director and educator for Recycle Hancock County.

In light of the setback, she encourages county residents to hang on to those hazardous materials until the next collection event in April.

Allender said the annual recycling event is a great way to declutter while keeping hazardous waste and recyclables out of landfills. She hopes county residents consider the nominal fees charged at the event a small price to pay for taking care of the environment.

While recycling shoes and expired non-perishable foods is free, fees starting at $5 do apply for recycling electronics, tires and hazardous materials.

“It’s actually against the law to throw your electronics and televisions into the trash,” said Allender, who strives to educate the public on best practices when it comes to recycling.

“Electronics have hazardous items and materials in them that should not go in a landfill,” she said. “Electronics are able to be recycled, which not only saves space in the landfill and prevents contamination of the earth, but also helps the environment by repurposing those materials found inside them.”

The same can be true for latex paint, which will be collected and repurposed Saturday by an Ohio company called American Paint Recyclers.

“The paint that will be collected is going to be recycled, so if people bring in dried-up paint, they’re not going to be able to use that,” said Allender. Since it’s environmentally safe to throw away latex paint, “you’re better off letting it finish drying up and throwing it in the trash,” she said.

While Allender said she can’t quantify the number of Hancock County households that participate in recycling, she knows the cardboard and paper recycle bins located behind the Hancock County Extension Office in Greenfield are frequently used.

Free glass recycling will soon be available as well at the Greenfield Transfer Station at 266 S. Franklin St.

The station, managed by Republic Services, currently offers free co-mingled recycling, excluding glass.

“We’ve been working on that for several months now and we’re getting closer,” said Allender, who is seeking grants to purchase collection bins.

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