Fix Up, Clean Up, Clean Out… Recycle

By Vicky and Bob Moore

If you’re like most people, the change of seasons prompts us to start anew. We feel the urge to fix things up around the house, clean up and clean out those closets, the basement and garage, and get our lives and surroundings in order. As you go about these activities, be aware of the things that can be recycled or repurposed. Landfills are nearing capacity, and new ones are very expensive to build. Not only are they expensive, but they can only be built in locations with favorable geographical and geological conditions. They need to be near the sources of trash for economy of transportation, yet nobody wants a landfill in THEIR backyard! The more we can reduce what is put into our trash stream, the better it will be for everyone!

This brings us to the question of what to do with all that STUFF in our lives that we don’t want or need any longer. Earthbound Recycling in Eureka is a one stop solution for most recyclables. First established as a metal recycling facility, we have expanded to include electronics, paint and household chemicals, batteries, packing peanuts and bubble wrap, books, clothing and fluorescent light bulbs. There is a resale area in the facility where you can purchase hand tools, hardware items, brass knickknacks, computer and speaker wire, and other assorted items that have been recycled, at bargain prices.

When metal recycling is mentioned, most homeowners think it doesn’t really apply to us. After all, we’re not plumbers with loads of copper pipe, or electricians with wire scraps to recycle. But are you aware that metal items you probably pay to have disposed of are very much recyclable? Do you have a rusty wheelbarrow, swing set, metal fencing, metal lawn furniture, a broken lawnmower or lawn tractor, a rake with a broken handle, an old BBQ pit, pots and pans, bedframes, doorknobs, broken or unused bicycles or old metal screen doors to get rid of? Then you, too, can be a metal recycler! Earthbound Recycling will take all things metal! This includes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and ranges, and water heaters, which will bring you a little cash in your pocket. We pay for 1 pound or more of copper, aluminum, brass, lead, etc., and are currently paying for 500 pounds or more of steel. Less than 500 lbs. of steel is a free drop-off. You’ll be charged a fee of $10.00 to recycle items that have compressors, such as refrigerators, dehumidifiers, and air conditioning units. It is unlawful to release Freon into the air, and it must be properly removed. There is a $5.00 fee to recycle microwaves because of the radioactive components.

Besides recycling your unwanted metal items, what will you do with unwanted paint and household chemicals? Landfills don’t accept any free flowing liquids, and moving companies don’t want you to move paint on their trucks. As a result, many people who move into a new home find the previous owner’s stash of leftover paint in the basement or garage. Earthbound Recycling will accept paint and household chemicals in the original containers with the label intact for a fee of 30 cents per lb., can and all. After processing, partial cans of usable paint are given away free to those who can use it, and full cans are sold for $6.00 a gallon. Are you aware that partial cans of similarly colored paint can be mixed together in a large bucket to make enough of one new color to do a large project? One customer reportedly painted the entire inside of her house with free paint! Ruined paint is mixed with an agent to dry it, and it is properly disposed of.

Electronics are yet another item to deal with. Since they contain many heavy and toxic metals that can potentially be leached out and end up in our groundwater if placed in landfills that may leak, these items need to be recycled properly. There is a free drop-off of most electronic devices at Earthbound Recycling. There is a fee of 40 cents per lb. for the old cathode ray tube televisions due to the fact that lead from the tubes must be recovered. There is a fee of $5.00 to dispose of the old cathode ray computer monitors. If you are concerned about security issues, they will remove and destroy the hard drive from your computers on site for a fee. Keyboards, broken or unwanted flat screen TV’s and monitors, unused cell phones, etc. are accepted for free.

Other items that can be recycled include car, boat, and tractor batteries that you will be paid for. Lithium-ion batteries such as the ones in cell phones, and rechargeable batteries are accepted at no charge. Disposable batteries can be accepted for a fee of $1.25 per lb. Fluorescent bulbs can be recycled for a fee, and Earthbound accepts packing peanuts and bubble wrap with no charge. There is also a drop box on the parking lot for clean used clothing. Unwanted fiction books will be accepted and sent to Better World Books. Non-fiction books that meet their approval, (except encyclopedias), will be purchased at 10 cents per lb.

Don’t hesitate to call us with your recycling questions! They are located at 25 Truitt Drive in Eureka, just off Highway 109, south of Highway 44. Turn left at the first street on the left after you pass Quicktrip. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM, and you can call us at 636-938-1188. As you fix up, clean up, and clean out, do your part to help the Earth by recycling everything possible! Then enjoy your tidy home!