How the every-other-week collection is going

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Randy Tuchtenhagen, Solid Waste Officer

How is the recycling going?

Randy Tuchtenhagen

We have had a few calls from residents about the every-other-week collection schedule, but for the most part the transition has been smooth and easy since we made the change in May. If your curbside recycling used to be picked up on the first and third weeks, you are now a yellow week and if your recycling was collected on the second and fourth weeks you are now a green week.

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The county web page at has the collection calendar, a map of the routes, day of collection for outlying cities, the household hazardous waste collection schedule and other useful information. Click on “departments,” then on “Environmental Services.”

Questions about what can and cannot be placed into the recycling are common. Frequently we are asked are about lids and caps and yes, they are recyclable. Please remove lids from the container. At the recycling center, or even on the truck hauling them, if the container is smashed or compacted those lids become missiles. Also if there is still liquid in the container, the hauler and the processor do not want them as they become a health menace and make quite a mess when they hit the grinders. Along with the lids, people are concerned with the label or wrap on bottles. The answer is to just leave it. Years ago they may have been an issue but with newer technology and more sophisticated processing equipment they can now be left on the container.

The size of recyclable items is still an issue. Our curbside collection program has been designed for residential papers and food and beverage containers. Those five gallon plastic pails do not fit into the grinding equipment at a processing center. Our policy for many years has been to limit containers to a one gallon size or smaller. To gain room in your recycling container you should step on or crush containers like milk jugs and pop bottles. Please do not break any glass bottles.

Here are some suggestions that will make your recycling easier. We will recycle aerosol cans if they are empty and have the lids and nozzles removed. Place them with the other cans and bottles on recycling day. Newspapers, magazines, junk mail and other paper products can all be put into the same paper sack for recycling, but try to keep like items together in the sack.

In other words, don’t shuffle them like a deck of cards. Place your newspapers into the sack, then place your magazines into the sack and if you have room you can put some junk mail with them, keeping everything separated but yet all in one paper sack. Remember, we do not take plastic bags and that includes milk, garbage, softener salt, dry cleaning or food storage plastic bags. Many stores have bag bins for the recycling of plastic bags and we encourage everyone to use them.

Randy Tuchtenhagen is the Freeborn County solid waste officer.