There are places to recycle in Freeborn County

Published 8:09 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Many recycling opportunities are available in Freeborn County. Our office receives numerous calls requesting information about disposal, or recycling and there seems to be more people than ever who wish to recycle rather than landfill.

A recycling opportunity high on my list is the ability to recycle old wearable clothing. A container at the Waste Management Recycling Center north of Albert Lea just off Bridge Avenue is available to recycle pants, shirts, coats and undergarments and sent to third world countries. It’s not a drop box for shoes, purses, leather items or non wearable junk that didn’t sell at a rummage sale. Contamination at this site has been appalling. We have removed vacuum cleaners, televisions, pillows, rugs and rolls of carpeting, bags of household garbage and other unacceptable items. Hopefully the new signage will lessen contamination. It says “wearable clothing only.” Most people don’t wear rugs, carpeting, pillows, sheetrock or furniture so please don’t put them in there.

Another frequently asked issue is “where can I sell my aluminum cans”? Poole Electric buys aluminum cans in the old Land-O-Lakes building at 721 Clark Street. They are open Tuesday through Friday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. and Saturday afternoon from 1-4. They do not purchase scrap metals or other recycling items, only aluminum cans. Another business in Hollandale, Jones Auto Sales, is open on Saturday mornings and also purchases aluminum cans. A third business that will purchase aluminum cans is PSI Recycling. They advertise in the Shopper as to which Friday each month they will be in the parking lot at Nelson’s Market Place.

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The I-35 Auto Recycling business will take old appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, window air conditioner, etc.) and pay cash for iron, scrap metals, old automobiles and other metals. It is located about a mile northeast of Clarks Grove. Turn north off of Highway 251 onto County Road 45. This business does not purchase aluminum cans.

Another recycling opportunity is our household hazardous waste program. We have been working on the collection schedule and it will be published in the March/April issue of the Community News magazine. We accept automotive lead acid batteries, LP and propane tanks (even ones with product still in them) and other items that should not be put in the trash.

Minnesota is a great place to live if you believe in recycling, reuse and waste reduction. Recently there have been articles in my trade magazines that talk about how Delaware is pushing for a law to require garbage haulers to collect recyclables curbside (Minnesota has been doing this for 20 years) and Florida is working on a plan to get beyond their 28 percent recycling rate (Minnesota has been over 40 percent for many years). We continue to search for ways to recycle more items (like recycled latex paint sold at ACE Hardware Stores) and each year issues are identified for our state legislators.

Randy Tuchtenhagen is the solid waste officer for Freeborn County.