posted 12/28/2016

THIS Doesn't Belong in the Garbage?

For many of the things we need to get rid of that cannot be recycled or donated, the garbage cart is where they belong. But, some things require a little more care, and with good reason. Below is a guide to get commonly used items off the curb as quickly, safely and effectively as possible.

Wet Latex Paint:  Latex paint can go in the garbage, because it’s not hazardous, but it must be dried out first. The reason is simple. Wet paint makes a big mess as it’s transferred from the garbage cart to the garbage truck, often finding its way onto the driveway, neighborhood streets, and the garbage truck. Drying the paint is easy, just add equal parts kitty litter or shredded paper until it’s solid. Or, take it to a Hazardous Waste Drop-Off and pay $1/gallon for disposal. Oil paint is hazardous and should be taken to a hazardous waste facility for disposal.

Yard Waste: Yard waste is not accepted in the landfill, and therefore, not in the garbage cart either. When yard waste is kept separate from garbage, it’s collected through the Compost It! program, and delivered to the compost site, where it’s turned from grass and branches into a natural soil amendment, which is great for the health of lawns and gardens. Learn to use the Compost It! program.

Appliances: Appliances contain valuable metals that can be recycled, but they also contain hazardous materials, like mercury. In order to best protect our land and water, appliances are handled with care and do not go into the landfill. Appliances can be collected from the curb with the use of Large Item stickers. Stickers can be purchased at local grocery and hardware stores. Seven $5 stickers ($35 total) covers the cost for a separate truck to collect the appliance, keeping it out of the landfill, and covers the demanufacturing cost. Other disposal  options are available on our recycling guide.

Sharps, Needles & Syringes: In order to protect those at home, as well as sanitation workers, these products must be packaged properly. Simply put these objects in a laundry detergent bottle or a sharps container (available at most pharmacies), secure the lid with tape, and label it “hazardous material.” When packaged properly, you can also take them to a Hazardous Waste Drop-Off.

Not sure if other items belong in the garbage? Call Metro Waste Authority at 515.244.0021 or visit