Recycling myths busted

For the CDTNovember 24, 2013 

America Recycles Day just passed — it’s Nov. 15 each year — and in honor, I thought I would bust some of the most common recycling myths.

Myth: You need to remove labels on items before putting them in a recycling container.

Fact:

You do not have to remove labels from your items before recycling them. Labels are destroyed during the recycling process and do not have to be removed prior to being placed into a recycling container.

Myth: Lids and caps are not recyclable.

Fact: Lids and caps are indeed recyclable and can be placed in the recycling container along with the bottle, jug or jar it came on. Items should be rinsed before recycling, and the lids can be placed back on your item.

Myth: You need to remove staples and stickers from mail or paper before recycling.

Fact: You do not need to remove staples or stickers from mail or paper before recycling them, and the plastic windows on envelopes can be left intact.

Myth: It is OK to flush prescription medication down the toilet.

Fact: It is most certainly not OK to flush medication down the toilet. There are various ways to rid your home of expired, unused medication. One way would be to mix the medication with an undesirable substance (i.e., kitty litter or coffee grounds) and then place with your regular refuse.

The Bellefonte Police Department is now accepting unwanted, prescription medication during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The prescription drop-off box is in the department’s lobby in the Borough Building, 236 W. Lamb St. You do not have to be a resident of Bellefonte to use the drop-off box. It is available for anyone who would like to dispose of any prescription drugs, no questions asked.

Myth: Latex paint is hazardous and must be brought to a local household hazardous waste event.

Fact:

Latex paint is water-based and is not hazardous. Latex paint, when dry, may be placed with your regular refuse. If the can is less than half full, leave the lid off until the paint dries and then put it in your refuse container. You also may mix kitty litter or paint hardener in cans that are more than half full to help with drying. If you are simply overwhelmed with latex paint, the Recycling and Refuse Authority’s Transfer Station is allowed to accept up to 5 gallons of latex paint per person per day. There is a $10 minimum charge for this service. In addition, empty steel paint cans are recyclable.

Myth: It is OK to put electronics in the trash.

Fact:

Pennsylvania Act 108 (the Covered Device Recycling Act) was passed in 2010, making it illegal to dispose of certain electronic devices. The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority has a permanent electronics drop-off location, next to the Transfer Station at 253 Transfer Road, where residents may drop off their old electronics free of charge.

For more information on any of the above myths, email Schirf at aschirf@centrecountyrecy cles.org.

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