Living Columns & Blogs

Winter weather recycling tips

Shoveling your driveway and the sidewalk in front of your home can help Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority crews during collection.
Shoveling your driveway and the sidewalk in front of your home can help Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority crews during collection. Centre Daily Times, file

As I was shoveling snow from the driveway and breaking the ice off of 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 Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority 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. One, it allows for those who use a wheelchair safe passage onto and off sidewalks; and two, it allows collection crews easy access to pull their bin 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 the crews can 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 and ice.

Helping to keep sidewalks, driveways and private lanes clear of snow and ice can do a lot to help keep our workers safe this winter.

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. All paper (newspaper, mixed paper, magazines, catalogs, office paper, shredded paper, junk mail, telephone books, pressed paperboard, etc.) should be placed together in a bag. We know that recycling paper properly does take time on our residents’ part, but their effort is a huge help to our operation and to our staff.

If you produce ashes from a fireplace or wood stove, 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.centrecountyrecycles.org.

All of the staff at the CCRRA 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 and Refuse Authority. Contact her at aschirf@centrecountyrecycles.org.

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