If you’ve been recycling at home for several years, either with the City of Dalton Curbside Recycling Program or at one of the four Convenience Centers with recycling drop-off areas, you may be stuck in a bit of a recycling rut. Sure you’re recycling newspapers as usual. But, could you be recycling even more? Here’s a guide to residential recycling, room by room, just for Whitfield County residents. You may be surprised by what’s recyclable.
Living Room: You’re likely to find all kinds of mixed paper that can be recycled casually laying around the living room. Magazines, newspapers, telephone books, junk mail and other correspondence can be recycled if they are clean and free from plastic film and food contamination. Cardboard boxes from packages can be recycled too. Flatten or break down the box to save space. For curbside customers, boxes should be 3 feet high or less or they’ll fit in the collection truck.
Also in the living room you may have electronic devices like DVD players, or an older television set. Electronics can be recycled year-round at the Old Dixie Hwy. Landfill and Convenience Center. There is a recycling fee for CRT monitors and television sets, however all other electronics can be dropped off for free. Local retailers, like Office Depot, also have recycling for electronics, however they have a limited amount and type of item that is accepted. It’s best to call ahead and confirm.
Kitchen: This room is filled with all kinds of packaging from food products, the majority of which can be recycled. Recycle empty, and flattened paperboard boxes from products like cereal, crackers, and spaghetti. You can also recycle glass jars for jelly, baby food, pickles, and other food products. To do empty the lightly rinse the container, replace the lid. Leaving the paper label on the outside is ok.
The kitchen, most likely, is room where you’ll find the majority of your recyclables. Don’t forget to recycle aluminum beverage cans, and bi-metal cans for foods like soup and fruit. Also recyclable are plastic bottles and jugs. These can include milk jugs, soda bottles, water bottles, and even dish soap bottles. Bottles and jugs usually have an opening at the top that is smaller than the base. Like the glass containers, make sure these items are empty. If they have food residue, a quick rinse will help keep your recycling bin clean and bug free.
Bedroom: This room does have some recyclables, but they don’t get collected often since bedrooms usually don’t include a recycling bin or even a trash bin. Look around the room and you’re bound to find magazines, books, or other printed materials that should be recycled along with mixed paper. Like the living room, this room sometimes has a television set or other electronics. When it’s time for those to go you can drop them off at an electronics recycling location.
Bathroom: While you can’t recycle a tube of toothpaste locally, you can recycle the paperboard box it came in. Don’t forget to add your paperboard tubes from toilet paper rolls, and empty tissue boxes to the recycling bin. Also accepted are plastic bottles like soap, shampoo, and conditioner containers. Before recycling make sure they are empty. It’s ok to leave pumps and lids on the bottles.
Bathrooms usually have trashcans, but not recycling bins. Take a moment to add a second collection bin just for recyclables. Giving them a designated area will make it more likely that you’ll recycle them instead of throwing them away.
Garage: The garage is usually a mismatch of storage and utility. You may store your automotive supplies or even gardening supplies there, like insecticides or motor oil. In this case, plastic bottles and jugs that are empty can be recycled, with the exception of motor oil and automotive lubricants. The oil doesn’t mix well with other plastics and hurts the recycling process down the line. These should be excluded from the recycling bin and thrown away.
Backyard: If you have a patio or enjoy using your backyard you may have some other recyclables outside. Tree trimmings, yard debris, or yard waste can be recycled. In Whitfield County yard waste is kept out of the landfill, saving valuable landfill space. These materials are ground up and recycled into mulch that residents can use on their property. To find out when yard waste is picked up in the City of Dalton call 706-278-7077, or to find a drop-off site in the county call 706-277-2545.