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How to recycle: It's easy to be a responsible, Earth-friendly consumer
April 9, 2012

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

Most people want to do whatever they can to be a responsible, Earth-friendly consumer, but they also don’t want it to be burdensome.

Locally, there are many options for people interested in recycling.

Cans, paper, glass, and plastic can be recycled curbside.

Many other items can be recycled at local recycling centers.

In this area, it is easy to recycle, with many city’s and townships offering curbside pick-up.

However, each area or service provider has its own standards for what is accepted for recycling.

When recycling, be sure to include only clean, accepted, and properly prepared items.

The gray sidebars give commumity specific information about what is recyclable, and where it can be recycled.

Unaccepted or unclean items can turn a whole load of recycling to garbage that must be dumped.

The top 10 reasons to recycle

There are virtually no reasons recycling is bad, and many reasons it is good. The Recycling Association of Minnesota offered the top 10 reasons to recycle on its website:

• It’s good for the economy, providing raw materials needed by American companies, and generating an estimated $100 billion in revenue, according to The Office of the Federal Environmental Executive.

• It creates jobs. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.

• Recycling reduces waste from the nearly four-and-one-half pounds of garbage each individual creates every day.

Most of this garbage goes into landfills, where it’s compacted and buried.

• It’s good for the environment, promoting sustainable use of natural resources, saving energy, preventing pollution, reducing the need for landfill space, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting community development.

• Recycling saves energy over manufacturing with virgin materials. It saved an equivalent to 224 million barrels of oil in 2009.

• It prevents global warming. In 2009, it prevented the release of 178 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (the unit of greenhouse gases) into the air.

This is comparable to the total annual greenhouse gas emissions from 33 million passenger vehicles.

• Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.

• Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers, and other places essential to wildlife.

• Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping the economy.

Wright County recycling

Weekly curbside pickup is offered in Cokato every other Friday by Waste Management.

Stockholm Township offers recycling of glass, aluminum, tin, and steel cans, newspaper, plastics, and corrugated cardboard the second Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon at the township hall, 15234 Wright County Road 30 SW, Cokato.

Cokato Township offers recycling the second Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon at the township hall, 14987 30th Street SW, Cokato.

French Lake offers recycling any time in the dumpster located at the township hall, 3133 Wright County Road 3 NW, Annandale.

Wright County residents can drop off curbside recyclables, scrap metal, tree branches, grass clippings, leaves, and garden waste at the Wright County Compost and Recycling Facility anytime during regular business hours.

The Wright County Compost and Recycling Center is located at 505 Wright County Road 37 NE in Buffalo, and business hours are 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to noon the second Saturday of each month.

Wright County Hazardous Wastes

Hazardous wastes in Wright County can also be dropped at the Wright County Compost and Recycling Facility by appointment. Call (763) 682-7338 for any recycling questions.

Accepted items include paints, stains, varnishes, thinners, lighter fluid, aerosol cans, adhesives, caulk, putty, cleaners, strippers, inks, waxes, polishes, automobile fluids, acids, caustics, pesticides, herbicides, rechargeable batteries, oil filters, major appliances, tires, TVs, monitors, scanners, copiers, fluorescent bulbs, ballasts, and propane cylinders.

Some items require a minimal fee for disposal.

Recycling in Meeker County

Weekly curbside pickup is offered in Dassel every other Monday by Waste Management.

Recyclable glass, number 1 and 2 plastics, paper, and aluminum, tin, and steel cans are accepted for recycling.

Items must be separated into paperbags.

Dassel and Collinwood Township provide recycling bins behind North Star Willie’s at 441 Third Street North in Dassel.

Recyclables can be dropped off anytime, and an attendant is available the first Saturday morning each month to help.

Kingston provides a recycling station at 72636 Meeker County Road 27 in Kingston.

Meeker County residents may bring common recyclables to the Meeker County Transfer Station, located at 63655 293rd Street in Litchfield Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon. The phone number at the transfer station is (320) 693-2576.

Glass, metal, and plastic recyclables may be comingled, but separate newspapers, boxes, and paper.

• Glass – rinse and remove caps and lids; brown, green, and clear glass bottles and jars are accepted; unacceptable items include ceramics, window glass or mirrors, and broken light bulbs.

• Metal – remove labels and rinse clean; aluminum and tin cans are accepted; aluminum foil is not accepted.

• Plastic – remove caps and lids, rinse clean; only number 1 and 2 accepted; nothing above number 2 accepted.

• Newspaper – newspaper, glossy inserts, flyers, magazines, catalogs, and phone books are accepted.

• Boxes and paper – remove all plastic wrap and polystyrene from boxes; acceptable items include cardboard, gift boxes, home office paper, junk mail, hard and soft cover books, food packaging boxes, notebooks, file folders, and sticky notes, etc.; unacceptable items include greasy pizza boxes, or containers contaminated with food.

Contact the Meeker County Solid Waste Officer, Paul Virnig, at (320) 693-5200 for any recycling questions.

Meeker County hazardous household waste

Meeker County is part of a regional program to control household hazardous waste, headed by Kandiyohi County.

Because of the regional program, Meeker residents are allowed to bring household hazardous waste to the Kandiyohi County facility at any time during normal business hours, usually at no cost.

There is also an annual household hazardous waste collection day in Meeker County which take place the third Saturday in September every year.

This year, it will take place Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Meeker County Fairgrounds.

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