As I was shoveling snow from the driveway and breaking the ice off my car the other morning, it dawned on me: It’s time to run a column on recycling tips during winter weather.
No matter what the weather, the refuse and recycling crews brave the elements to make sure all of our materials are picked up from the curb. However, there are a few simple things that we, as residents, can do to help make it a little easier on the crews during the winter.
One thing would be to salt or shovel your driveway as well as the sidewalk in front of your home. If you live on a corner, please try to shovel an opening from the sidewalk to the street that is wide enough for a wheelchair to pass. This serves two purposes. It allows for those who use a wheelchair-safe passage onto and off sidewalks, and it allows collection crews easy access to pull their toter onto the sidewalk for back door collection customers. Residents should not shovel or blow snow onto the street, as this can create slippery conditions for collection crews and the traveling public.
Realize that bad weather can delay (or speed up) the time it takes the crews to get to your residence. To ensure collection, have your trash and recycling out by 7 a.m. Customers who live on private lanes should be aware that they may not have their materials picked up unless roads are cleared of snow. Helping to keep sidewalks, driveways and private lanes clear of snow and ice can do a lot to help.
Winter weather can severely damage paper. Authority staff would like to remind curbside recycling customers to use paper or plastic bags to contain paper in their curbside bins. Newspaper should always be bagged separate from all other paper. All other mixed paper (including magazines, catalogs, office paper, shredded paper, junk mail, telephone books, pressed paperboard, etc.) should be placed together in a bag.
If you produce ashes from fireplaces and woodstoves, they should be stored in a covered metal container placed outside and away from your home and any other combustibles. To properly dispose of ashes, make sure they are cool to the touch and bagged before placing in a refuse container. Cold wood ashes may be placed in the State College Borough Organics Cart.
For more information on proper handling and disposal of ashes, visit the Frequently Asked Question section on our website, www.centrecoun tyrecycles.org.
All of the staff at the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority appreciates the extra steps taken by our residents to make sure their recycling is prepared properly.
Stay safe and warm this winter, and as always, thanks for recycling!
Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority. Contact her at aschirf@centrecountyrecycles .org.