Studebaker, director of the Kosciusko County Recycling Depot in Warsaw, has noticed that because individuals can no longer burn their newspapers or cardboard, they are putting more effort into recycling.
While it is legal to burn newspaper and cardboard when a burn ban is not in effect, Studebaker said it is not the best method for the environment.
“Taking it to the recycling center is a habit,” she said. “A good habit, at that.”
While the burn ban can account for part of the increase in recycling in Kosciusko County, there are other factors contributing, as well.
Studebaker estimated that Kosciusko County recycled 2,000 tons more in 2011 than it did in 2010.
“It’s a combination of increased population and increased awareness,” she said.
Although the increased summer population produces more recycling, it also causes problems — as was evident at last week’s North Webster Town Council meeting.
“Our biggest issue right now is trash in recycling bins,” Studebaker said. “When visitors come for the weekend, they often don’t have a trash contract and don’t know what to do with their waste. It shows no personal responsibility to leave it at the recycling centers.”
Studebaker asks that all Kosciusko County residents and visitors contact a local trash hauler to dispose of their waste, or find a transfer station nearby.
In general, however, Studebaker thinks the community is doing a tremendous job in recycling and would like to offer her services to educate and answer any questions.
The Kosciusko County Recycling Depot accepts the following items: aluminum cans, mixed paper including glossy magazines and office paper, newspaper, steel cans, corrugated cardboard and cardboard, and plastic containers.
Studebaker would like to remind the community the recycling center no longer accepts glass.
“It ended up being too hard to sort,” she explained.
The following items are also not accepted at the depot: styrofoam products, plastic buckets and toys, vinyl siding, pizza boxes and trash.
Understanding what can and cannot be recycled helps the recycling program going strong.
Because the list of acceptable items is limited, the Recycling Depot offers several programs, listed below, to help individuals dispose of hazardous or large items.
Household Chemical Program
Household cleaners and chemicals with “warning,” “danger,” “hazardous,” “flammable” and “poison” on the label are free to dispose of at the depot. The program accepts pesticides, fertilizers, pool chemicals and automotive products, among others.
Mercury Products Program
Thermometers, thermostats, mercury vapor lights, fluorescent lights, and microwaves are accepted at the depot. Microwaves cost .08 cents per pound to recycle, but all other products are free.
Old televisions, computer monitors, printers, VCRs and more are accepted at the depot for .08 cents per pound. Small electronics, including cell phones, are accepted for free.
Paint Products Program
All paints, stains and varnishes are accepted at the depot. Oil base paints and stains are free, as is latex paint in good condition. Latex paint in bad condition is accepted for $3 per gallon, .75 cents per quart or .30 cents per pound.
Good latex paint ends up in the Recycling Depot Reuse Room, where residents can find paint for free. In all, 25,000 pounds of paint were returned to the community through the program.
All expired batteries are accepted for free for recycling, including rechargeable, cadmium, lithium, lead acid and alkaline batteries.
Tire Disposal Program
Tire disposal occurs once a year — the next date will be in April 2013. Through this program, tires can be disposed for the following prices: car tire, $1.50; truck tire, $5; and tractor or semi-truck tire, $15 to $25.
Motor Oil and Coolant Program
There are barrels located outside the south door of the Recycling Depot for motor oil, anti-freeze coolant and the bottles. The entire program is free and available at any time.
For questions or more information regarding recycling in Kosciusko County, contact the Recycling Depot at (574) 372-3087 or visit www.kcrecycling.com.