You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Recycling can be overwhelming sometimes. With the increasingly large amount of items we are buying and bringing into our homes, it’s important
to know how to dispose of them when you no longer need them.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about recycling. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you can always
contact us and let us know!

Why do I have to pay for curbside recycling?

The revenue generated from the sale of the recyclables collected in most curbside recycling programs simply does not cover the cost associated with picking up, sorting and selling the materials.  Therefore, recyclers must charge a fee to provide the service.  The costs associated with offering curbside service diminish significantly as more households in a community participate.

Residents are encouraged to consider subscribing to curbside recycling service through a private recycling provider. Currently, Republic Services, Waste Management, and Michiana Waste & Recycling offer convenient curbside recycling service to much of Marshall County.

How do I recycle used motor oil?

At the Depot, we have self-service containers located outside the building for you to drop off your used motor oil.

One gallon of motor oil is capable of polluting one million gallons of drinking water.  Proper disposal is critical.  Fortunately, there are many local options for the recycling of used motor oil.  Most auto service centers will accept up to five gallons of used oil per visit.

 

What's the proper way to dispose of unwanted medications?

Our waterways are threatened when medications are flushed down a toilet or washed down a drain.  Waste water treatment plants are not designed to remove many of the chemicals that make up today’s pharmaceuticals.  Trace amounts of estrogen, anti-depressants, anti-epileptics and other pharmaceutical compounds are being detected in our streams and rivers.

Fortunately, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department provides  unwanted medicines drop boxes in the lobby of the Marshall County Jail. The drop boxes are available when the jail is open (during normal business hours).  No illicit drugs, syringes, lancets, needles, or thermometers are accepted in the program.  Medicines should be left in their original containers.  Personal information may be removed or blacked out, but the name of the drug, the prescribing pharmacy and original quantity prescribed should remain intact and readable.

 

You can also drop off medications and sharps at the Bremen Town Hall, CVS Pharmacy in Culver, and Peoples Drug in Plymouth.

 

What should I know about compact flourescent light (CFL) bulbs?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are energy-efficient, money-saving replacements for traditional incandescent light bulbs.  CFLs cost a little more at the register, but they provide a savings over the life of the bulb.

CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury, an average of five milligrams of mercury–enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen.  A watch battery contains about five times as much mercury.  The mercury is not emitted when CFLs are in use.

CFLs and other fluorescent light bulbs, such as four or eight foot tubes, should not be disposed of in the trash–doing so will allow the mercury contained in the bulbs to escape into the environment.  Instead, all fluorescent light bulbs should be recycled.

The Depot accepts CFLs and all other types of fluorescent light bulbs.

Is wrapping paper recyclable?

In general, wrapping paper is not recyclable.  Often the ink used to produce wrapping paper isn’t simply on the paper’s surface.  Many times the paper is “beater dyed” which means the color is actually in the pulp of the paper.  The de-inking process used to recycle most other types of paper is not effective at removing ink from paper that has been beater dyed.  Many types of wrapping paper are very thin and contain few good quality fibers for recycling.  Additionally, wrapping paper is often laminated and/or contains glitter, tape or other additives that cannot be recycled.

What's the proper way to dispsose of household batteries?

In the mid-1990s regulations were enacted that significantly reduced or eliminated the amount of mercury used in the production of alkaline batteries.  As a result, alkaline batteries are safe for disposal with typical household trash.

Rechargeable and button batteries are not safe for disposal in a landfill and should always be recycled.  Common chemistries of rechargeable and button batteries include:  Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead (Pb).

You can recycle all your batteries at the Recycle Depot.

How should I dispose of paint?

Latex paint is water-based and can safely be disposed of with household trash if the paint has been solidified.  One of the easiest ways to solidify latex paint is to mix clay-based cat litter or sand with the paint and leave the lid off until the paint has hardened.  Then, the paint can be placed at the curb with normal household trash.  But, the lids must be left off of the paint cans so your trash hauler can see that the paint has solidified.

Oil-based paints, varnishes, stains, epoxys, and other similar chemicals cannot be disposed of with normal trash, and should be brought to the Recycle Depot.

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