Archive | July, 2014

Recycle empty pressurized gas cylinders

By Matt Riggs, Solid Waste Management District outreach coordinator

Propane tank 20lbWhen your outdoor grill, camping stove or helium tank runs out of gas, what do you do with the empty tank? You can recycle these pressurized gas cylinders, but they require special handling.

Gas Grill Tanks
Outdoor gas grills use propane tanks. When yours runs out of gas, you can exchange it for a full tank at services such as Blue Rhino or Amerigas. Each has locations throughout the metro area, and charges a fee to exchange or buy a new tank. If you want to recycle your old tank without getting a refill, you can either drop it off at one of these tank exchange locations or take it to a scrap metal dealer that accepts pressurized tanks.

Camping Tanks
Camp stoves and lanterns also use propane tanks. Empty tanks are accepted by household hazardous waste facilities and scrap metal dealers. Be sure to call first!

Disposable Helium Tanks
People purchase disposable helium tanks to fill up balloons for special occasions. The companies that sell them generally don’t take them back. Properly prepare the tank for recycling by watching this video, then take it to a scrap metal dealer.

Other Tanks
Pressurized industrial, medical and specialty gas tanks are most often taken back by the company that sells them. Contact the company you purchased yours from to find out about return options.

Always call first!
Always call scrap metal dealers and household hazardous waste facilities first. HHW facilities have size limits and scrap metal dealers have preparation requirements.

For more information, visit RecycleSpot.org or call 816-474-8326.

Share via emailShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Making sense out of plastic recycling

By Matt Riggs, Solid Waste Management District outreach coordinator

We use hundreds of types of plastics in our daily lives, so how do we know which ones are recyclable and which ones are not? Most recycling programs include plastic, but are vague, confusing or inconsistent about which types are accepted. So we play the guessing game and end up trashing plastic items that could be recycled, and recycling others that should be trashed. The following information should help clear it all up for you.

Recycle These:
The following list has the types of plastics that you can recycle in the metro area. Most plastics used in the products you buy are numbered  one through seven. Look for the number in the resin code that appears in the chasing arrow symbol, usually on the bottom of the container.

Plastics Recycling Table 2

Visit the Habitat ReStore and Vintage Tech Recyclers websites to learn more.

Don’t Recycle These:
Following are the types of plastics you cannot currently recycle in the Kansas City metro area. Most can go in the trash, but be sure to properly dispose of hazardous household products.

Plastics Recycling Table Don't
Proper Plastics Prep
Proper preparation of materials can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful recycling. Here are some tips:

  • Call — Always call your hauler or recycling center first to confirm the types of plastics they accept.
  • Empty — Make sure containers are completely empty.
  • Rinse — Give containers a quick rinse to remove residue.
  • Don’t forget caps and lids — Plastic caps and lids are recyclable, too. Crush plastic bottles, put the cap back on and recycle. Or, fill a plastic tub with caps and lids, put on the lid and recycle. Both methods keep caps and lids from falling through the sorting machinery and getting thrown out at the material recovery facility.

For more information, visit RecycleSpot.org or call 816-474-8326.

Share via emailShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit

Stay sharp about glass recycling

shard-8292_1280_webBy Matt Riggs, Solid Waste Management District outreach coordinator

Even if glass is not collected in your standard curbside recycling program, there are many options for recycling and reusing all types of glass in the metro area.

Food and Beverage Containers
Recycle brown, clear, green and blue food and beverage containers in the large, purple Ripple Glass bins located throughout the metro area. If you prefer curbside pickup, both Atlas Glass and KC Curbside Glass provide service throughout the metro area to both residents and businesses for a monthly fee.

Glassware
Donate undamaged dishware, vases, decorative glassware and mirrors to thrift stores. Antique glassware can be sold at antique stores and online.

Sheet Glass

Donate mirrors, glass shelving and various types of glass windows to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Glass panes or unframed glass can only be accepted if it is new and in its original packaging. For more information on acceptable materials, check ReStore’s donation criteria list.

Fluorescent light bulbs
Fluorescent tubes and compact bulbs (the squiggly ones) have mercury in them, which requires special handling. Both can be recycled through local household hazardous waste programs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can also be recycled at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Broken glass
With the exception of food and beverage containers, if the glass you want to get rid of is broken, it is not recyclable. Call your trash hauler for pickup of large pieces of broken glass — such as windows, table tops, mirrors, etc. — and verify preparation requirements. A fee may apply. All small, broken glass items and burnt out light bulbs (excluding fluorescent bulbs mentioned above) can be disposed of in the trash. Keep the safety of your sanitation workers in mind and prepare items properly for disposal.

For more information, visit RecycleSpot.org or call 816-474-8326.

Share via emailShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin it on Pinterest+1Digg ThisSubmit to reddit