Recycling Education

There are so many ways to make a difference every day. A very important step is to educate yourself. On this page, you will find a breadth of interesting facts. If you have any questions about the topics covered here, please call Daphne Mosley at the Pike County Solid Waste District at (740)947-4104.

Composting


Composting is the act of combining organic materials under controlled conditions so that the original raw ingredients are transformed by decay and degradation into humus (or compost).

Composting yard and food wastes is an excellent way to alleviate trash from the waste stream. As well, the composting process creates hummus rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK). This organic product is one of the best soil amendments available, great for gardening and lawn maintenance. Composting is relatively simple and can be a great project for the whole family. Coupled with recycling, composting allows many families to send virtually nothing to the landfill, thus reducing trash-pick up costs for many rural residents.

Composting Brochure

Citizens Guide to Composting

Green Teams are Forming!


What is a Green Team?

A green Team is a group of people who take on a project that help the environment through waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

What’s in it for me?

Students get an opportunity to get involved with a fun project that can make a difference in our environment. Teachers can choose a solid waste or recycling project that will complement educational standards. Employees at the Pike County Solid Waste District will help you with your project if you need assistance.

Project Examples
Waste-Free Lunch Contests
Produce a Green Team Video for local TV
Improve your school’s recycling/food composting efforts

Household Hazardous Waste


Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be “household hazardous waste” or “HHW.” Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash. The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal of these wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.

Household Hazardous Waste Brochure

HHW Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, and Disposal Options

The options of reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal-listed in order of EPA’s preferred waste management hierarchy-are all important tools to safely manage HHW. The following information can help you determine the best ways to reduce, reuse, or dispose of common household products that may contain hazardous ingredients.

Benefits of Proper HHW Management

Reduction and recycling of HHW conserves resources and energy that would be expended in the production of more products.

Reuse of hazardous household products can save money and reduce the need for generating hazardous substances.

Proper disposal prevents pollution that could endanger human health and the environment.

HHW Facts and Figures

Americans generate 1.6 million tons of HHW per year.

The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of HHW in the basement and garage and in storage closets.

During the 1980s, many communities started special collection days or permanent collection sites for handling HHW. In 1997, there were more than 3,000 HHW permanent programs and collection events throughout the United States.

Reduction at Home

Consider reducing your purchase of products that contain hazardous ingredients. Learn about the use of alternative methods or products-without hazardous ingredients-for some common household needs.

To avoid the potential risks associated with household hazardous wastes, it is important that people always monitor the use, storage, and disposal of products with potentially hazardous substances in their homes. Below are some tips for individuals to follow in their own homes:

Use and store products containing hazardous substances carefully to prevent any accidents at home. Never store hazardous products in food containers; keep them in their original containers and never remove labels. Corroding containers, however, require special handling. Call your local hazardous materials official or fire department for instructions.

When leftovers remain, never mix HHW with other products. Incompatible products might react, ignite, or explode, and contaminated HHW might become unrecyclable.

Remember to follow any instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels.

Call your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency for instructions on proper use and disposal and to learn about local HHW drop off programs and upcoming collection days.

Disposal Options

Certain types of HHW have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house. Federal law allows disposal of HHW in the trash. However, many communities have collection programs for HHW to reduce the potential harm posed by these chemicals. EPA encourages participation in these HHW collection programs rather than discarding the HHW in the trash. Call your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency for the time and location of your HHW collection program. Also, read product labels for disposal directions to reduce the risk of products exploding, igniting, leaking, mixing with other chemicals, or posing other hazards on the way to a disposal facility. Even empty containers of HHW can pose hazards because of the residual chemicals that might remain.

Reduce. Reuse.

Pike County Solid Waste Management Brochure

Reduce.
The easiest way you can have an impact on the waste stream is to practice conscientious consumption. The average American disposes of four and a half pounds of trash every day, thereby securing our position as the leading producer of solid waste in the industrialized world. It is safe to say that most people give very little thought to what they throw in the garbage on a regular basis. For one day, put all of your trash in one bag and see just how much you throw away. You might be very surprised.

There are many simple ways to reduce the amount of trash you produce:

•Purchase items with the least amount of packaging possible.

•Choose bulk items that can be repackaged if necessary in washable containers.

•Purchase durable and reusable goods.

•Rent or borrow seldom used items.

Reuse.
There are several organizations in our community that are happy to re-distribute your gently used items to people in need. Bridgehaven accepts household goods. Community Action will take household goods, furniture, working appliances, and clothing. If you have extra food in your cupboard, Pike County Outreach Council of Churches will accept non-perishable food items. Donating items you no longer require not only keeps them out of the landfill, but it also is a valuable service to the community. If you wish to be a bit more entrepreneurial, reselling your unwanted items is a great way to “reuse”. Yard sales, advertisements in local papers, or websites, like eBay or Craigslist, are all simple ways to get rid of clutter in your home.

Reuse does not soley rely on donating or selling unwanted items. Using a refillable mug to take coffee to work or using a dish towel instead of paper towels are both practical and simple ways to “reuse”. Also, thinking beyond the initial use of an item often creates a whole new life for it.

Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting Fact Sheet
Worm Digestion Diagram
What do I feed my worms?

Yard Waste


Yard Waste should not be included in the household trash destined for the landfill. Instead, it is best to compost your yard waste at home or send it to a yard waste composting facility.

 
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