Green Gift Wrapping Ideas

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Learning Center

It should come as no surprise that Christmastime isn’t the most eco-friendly time of the year. We’re not here to bust your chops about that. But, there are some fun and easy ways to create less trash as you celebrate this year. One of the easiest ways is rethinking how you wrap the gifts you give; especially since wrapping paper is not recyclable! (Neither are traditional bows and ribbons…). Here’s our list of earth-friendly alternatives to traditional gift wrapping: Furoshiki. Never hear of it? The idea is to wrap a gift in a square of fabric. No finding the end of the tape, no running out of paper, and you can use a scarf, hanky, hand towel, or blanket to make the wrapper part of the gift. There are some great how-to videos on YouTube. Cardboard kind of looks like gingerbread. Decorate accordingly. Add a touch of the outside instead of bows. Pine clippings, boxwood, holly, cedar, pine cones and rosemary make for beautiful and fragrant adornments. Wrap gifts in Kraft paper and recycle it when you are done. (You can find it with the shipping supplies at stores or you can use paper grocery bags turned inside out). Another alternative to bows is to print a favorite picture of the recipient to add to the box. Use reusable bags. Start a new tradition. Make or buy a Santa sack for your children. No wrapping needed. Did you get some bubble wrap in a shipment? Wrap a box in bubble wrap.  It kind of looks like ice/snow and it’s basically a toy, too.  Who doesn’t love to pop bubble wrap? If you still get a newspaper, wrap in the funny papers. Use old wallpaper scraps. Your favorite sheet music can make a cool wrapper. (Okay, maybe not your favorite…) Cereal boxes can be folded into new boxes. Only have the top or the bottom of a gift box. That can be folded into a new box, too. Pringles cans make great cookie holders. Old holiday cards can be made into new gift tags. Yarn, satin ribbon, jute and other craft supplies can be used for tying packages. Aluminum foil is both shiny and recyclable. Need other ideas? One...

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Holiday Recycling Done Right

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Learning Center

It’s estimated that an additional 100 million tons of trash are generated every week between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. All that food, wrapping paper, cardboard and packing material adds up! So, we’re going to get you ready with some pointers for Recycling Right this holiday season. Capture the Cardboard & Preserve the Paper:  there’s so much packaging! Hold on to what you can reuse and recycle the rest. Cardboard and chipboard (like those shirt boxes or the wrapping paper tubes) are accepted in the curbside recycling programs offered by Ray’s Recycling and Republic Services. Large pieces should be cut down so they fit easily in your curbside bin. Flattened cardboard and chipboard are also accepted at the District’s Recycling Drop-off Centers. While we’re on the subject, let’s talk holiday cards for a minute:  the paper ones are recyclable (along with the envelope they came in), but the photo cards are not. Battery Basics:  gadgets and gizmos use batteries. Alkaline batteries are safe to be thrown away (they can be recycled at Tox-Away Days or at a few local retailers for a fee).  Button batteries and rechargeable batteries should always be recycled at any one of these fine, local retailers, or at Tox-Away Day. Lights to Lowe’s:  let your old Christmas lights have a new life by recycling them at Lowe’s. Look for bins near the customer service desk inside the front door. (FYI:  Lowe’s accepts compact fluorescent bulbs, plastic bags and rechargeable batteries for recycling, too.  Rock on, you recycling rock stars!) Electronics Everywhere:  if you have some old, unwanted electronics to get rid of, first consider reuse! If the item still works, consider Goodwill, Salvation Army or the Habitat ReStore as options (except for TVs…no one wants your old, huge CRT TV, sorry…). If the life has left your old device, recycling is the next best option (and landfilling them is no longer allowed). Fortunately, e-waste recycling options abound here in Hendricks County. In addition to our Tox-Away Days, these other organizations will accept most of your electronic waste for recycling free-of-charge. TV’s are a different kettle of fish, however. Recycling TVs is expensive and only a handful of companies will even accept them for recycling. You can expect to pay to have them taken away and recycled. The District will also accept TVs at our Tox-Away Days–we charge $20 or $25 each, depending on size, to recycle them. Taking out the Tree:  natural, undecorated Christmas trees can be recycled this winter into excellent mulch for next spring. The District will be collecting (naked) Christmas trees at our Yard Waste Recycling Centers in Brownsburg (90 Mardale Drive) and Plainfield (7020 S. County Road 875 E.) from December 19th through January 23rd. The sites will be open 24/7 and there is no charge to drop off your tree. Our friends at GreenCycle-McCarty in Danville will also accept Christmas trees for recycling....

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Local Organizations Awarded Nearly $12,000!

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in Learning Center

Last month, the Solid Waste District’s Board of Directors awarded four local organizations from the District’s Community Grants Program.  The funds will be used to undertake projects that promote sustainability and care for natural resources. The organizations receiving grants include: Danville Community High School Conservation Club Guilford Civil Township/Hummel Park Hendricks County 4-H and Agricultural Fair Our Shepherd Lutheran Church and School Projects that focused on reuse took center stage in this latest grant round as all four of the awarded projects requested funds to purchase water bottle refill stations. These simple pieces of equipment remind people to refill their water bottles and make it very easy to do so. In addition, Our Shepherd Lutheran Church and School was awarded funds to buy recycling bins that will expand the current recycling program there. The grant program offered by the Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District allows local, non-profit and tax-exempt organization to apply for funds to undertake waste reduction, recycling and environmental education projects.  Lenn Detwiler, Executive Director for the Solid Waste Management District said, “The Solid Waste Management District is pleased to be able to support the good work of these organizations as they strive to conserve natural resources and teach others the benefits of waste reduction, reuse and recycling right here in our community.” Since 2006, the District has awarded over $220,000 in grants to over fifty Hendricks County organizations.  Grant recipients have included schools in every school district in the County, churches, Sycamore Services, Hendricks County Extension Master Gardeners, the Hendricks County Arts Council, the towns of Amo, Avon, Brownsburg, North Salem and Plainfield, B&O Trail Association, Downtown Danville Partnership, the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County and many more. The Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District is now accepting grant applications for the Spring 2018 Grant Round.  The District has earmarked over $10,000 for the next grant round; each applicant is eligible for up to $5,000 in funding.  Interested parties can learn more about the grant program or contact Lenn Detwiler for more...

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Burning Questions

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Learning Center

This is a great time of the year to live in Indiana–autumn colors, cool breezes, football games and family trips to the apple orchard! It’s also a perfect time to remind everyone of the open burning rules that protect the health and safety of our neighbors as well as the air quality in our community. Rule 1:  It is never okay to burn trash. In fact, it is prohibited by State Law. Rule 2:  Leaf burning is not permitted inside town limits across Hendricks County. Questions? Call your local town office or fire department where you live. Rule 3:  If you live outside of town, but within the County, leaves must be burned in a container and during daylight hours. A water source must be close by and the fire must be attended at all times. Rule 4:  Campfires and bonfires are generally allowed. If you live within town limits, check with your town to be sure you are aware of any restrictions. Rule 5: Burning to clear prairie plantings or for agricultural needs is permitted. The local fire department should be notified ahead of time and a water source should be nearby. Also, pay close attention to the weather conditions and plan the burn carefully. We visited with Steve Jones, Fire Marshal for the Brownsburg Fire Territory, and asked him about the rules for burning in Hendricks County. Check out what he had to say. Now, you know what you can do. But, is it what you should do? Leaves, brush and other yard waste can be composted or recycled into mulch. Consider beginning your own backyard compost bin or visiting one of the District’s Yard Waste Recycling...

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Careful Car Care

Posted by on Aug 6, 2017 in Learning Center

Love of the automobile is an American tradition. Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are also a very American concept.  Millions of us do standard vehicle maintenance, including oil changes, in our own garages, barns and driveways. It’s a great way to save some cash, connect with your ride and get your hands dirty! But, it is vitally important that automotive fluids such as motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze and brake fluid are disposed of properly. Automotive fluids that are dumped down the drain, put in the trash or are poured on the ground can do significant environmental damage. If improperly disposed of, the amount of oil in one standard oil change can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water. Every year, in the U.S., 180 million gallons of used motor oil is dumped on the ground, down sewers and into landfills by DIYers. That is 16 times the amount lost in the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989! The good news? There are many local outlets to properly recycle these types of materials. Most automotive fluids can be re-refined and used again and again—including motor oil, antifreeze and transmission fluid.    When changing your own oil or working with another automotive fluid, carefully collect the unwanted solution in a sturdy container with a cap. Do not combine different chemicals in the same container. Used motor oil can be recycled locally at most auto service providers and auto parts stores—some local examples include Brownsburg Muffler and Service, Auto Zone, Indy Lube, Walmart, Mel’s Service Center and Indy Tire Center (full list). Some of these same places will also accept used oil filters, brake fluid, antifreeze and other fluids for recycling. Some limits may apply, so call ahead for program details and limitations. ...

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