Consider Composting!

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Adult Outreach, General, Learning Center

Food waste and yard waste together make up about 25% of what we throw away.  That means almost ¼ of what we throw away can be composted!  We can recycle nutrient rich “stuff” like leaves, twigs, grass clippings, weed and shrub cuttings, garden waste, and food waste back into the soil by letting nature do her thing. Composting reduces the need to water because of organic matter’s great water-holding capacity.  This can be a real money saver if you are on city water.  Compost can also replace the need for chemical fertilizers, improve soil structure (which cuts down on erosion), increase yields of fruit and vegetable gardens, and it can be fun! There are many different styles of composting, but they will all result in rich organic material that can be a great soil amendment.  And the best news is that compost happens…you can’t mess it up.  In fact, composting can be as easy as burying food scraps other than meats in your garden or flowerbeds.  Be sure you dig a hole at least 1′ deep and cover the scraps with 8″ or more of soil so animals will leave them alone. If you want to make compost that you can spread, here are the basics. Pick whichever method works for you. 1.  Bin or Pile – Deciding which one to use will depend on how fancy or neat you want your compost to be.  If you live in a residential area, you might prefer to keep it contained in a bin or store-bought composter.  A bin can also help to keep the pile from spreading as they will tend to do over time.  Bins can be pallets lined up to made a box, plastic bins, chicken wire, or a trash can with no bottom and air holes in the sides.  A pile should be at least 3’x3’ and preferably more like 6’x6’. 2.  Location – A pile or bin should be kept in a somewhat shaded area so that it won’t dry out so quickly. It is also important to keep it close the where you will eventually use the compost.  Some people choose to put the pile where they plan to plant next year’s crops so the finished compost can be spread right where it is.  You may also want to have your bin near the kitchen since you will probably incorporate a lot of food scraps. 3.  Tools – Basically all you need is a pitchfork to turn and aerate the compost.  A compost thermometer is sometimes helpful, as well. 5.  Recipe – Start with bare soil.  Exposed soil allows the flora and fauna living in the soil to travel into your compost and aid in the decomposition of the material. In general, a compost pile is made in layers of brown and green materials.  The exposed soil serves as the first layer of brown material. ...

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A ReStore Reminder

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Adult Outreach, General, Learning Center, Recycling

Whenever you are cleaning and clearing out, consider donating items that otherwise might be thrown away, to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. And, as you embark on those DIY projects, don’t forget to shop the ReStore for the supplies and materials you need.  The Habitat for Humanity ReStore, located at 1099 N. State Road 267, is a great reuse resource. You can save some money, support a great organization and keep waste from the landfill. Items accepted for donation (must be in good/usable condition) include: • Latex Paint (reusable, nearly full containers, less than one-year-old) • Furniture (no rips, stains or smells) • Flooring • Flat Panel TVs • Appliances • Lawn Mowers • Gas Grills • Cabinets • Tools • Sinks • Vanities • Lighting • Building Materials • Toilets • Windows • Doors • Counter Tops • HVAC Components • Books Not only can you donate and shop at the ReStore, but they will also pick up large donations at your location.  Call 317-707-7530 to coordinate a donation pick-up.  Visit their website or find them on Facebook for more information....

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Water Bottle Refill Station Available

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Adult Outreach, Latest, Learning Center

When the weather heats up, staying hydrated becomes as important as ever. For many people, that usually means lots and lots of plastic water bottles which can lead to a lot of plastic waste. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! Instead of pitching that empty bottle in the recycling bin or the trash (gasp!), refill it and use it again. Or, better yet, buy a reusable water bottle that you refill time after time. A couple of years ago the District purchased a portable water bottle refill station. If you’ve been by our booth at the Hendricks County 4H Fair, you couldn’t miss it. It has been used and appreciated by many as they made their way around the (hot!) Fairgrounds. By eliminating the need for multiple water bottles, the refill station helps reinforce waste reduction–a big piece of the District’s mission! We have plans to have the refill station at the Fair again this year. Keep your eyes open and reduce, reuse and refill! That same refill station is available to anyone coordinating events around the county, and it’s free to use! The unit simply hooks up to a water source (an outside spigot works great). It contains a restaurant-grade water filter, so users can be assured they are getting safe, fresh water. In addition to the Fair, the refill station has been used at community events, 5Ks, softball tournaments and more. So, if you are planning a get together in the coming weeks, remember that the unit is available for use to help keep event participants hydrated and wasting less! Contact Lenn Detwiler for more...

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Tox-Away Days: What You Should Know

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Adult Outreach, General, Household Hazardous Waste, Learning Center, Programs, Recycling

The District offers multiple Tox-Away Days each spring, summer and fall. The events allow Hendricks County residents to dispose of their HHW free of charge. Fees apply for the recycling of televisions, appliances and tires (in some cases).  Regulations prohibit businesses from utilizing the events. So, what should you know if you are planning to utilize one of our upcoming Tox-Away Days? 1) They are very popular & well-attended.  As such, sometimes the lines for Tox-Away Days can be long.  But, don’t let that scare you away!  The lines typically move quickly with most visitors getting through in under ten minutes. Also, note that any Hendricks County resident is welcome to use any of the Tox-Away Days, you don’t have to only come to the one in your town. 2) We are there, rain or shine. Indiana weather is fickle.  But, regardless of the forecast or what might be falling from the sky, we will be there on Tox-Away Day. There have been instances when severe weather has necessitated us pausing the line so our workers could seek shelter.  If that happens, rest assured that we will resume the event when it is safe to do so and will get everyone taken care of. 3) Don’t bring latex paint.  We ask residents not to bring latex paint to Tox-Away Days.  Why? Because latex paint is a water-based substance and it is non-hazardous.  It can be dried out and disposed of with your normal household trash.  Discouraging latex paint from Tox-Away Days helps the District minimize costs and speeds the Tox-Away Day lines up for everybody (see #1 above). Check out our step-by-step paint drying video demonstration. 4) Document shredding is not available.  Protecting your private information is important.  But, the mission of the Solid Waste Management District is about protecting the environment. So, that’s our focus during these events.  Document shredding is available every day from Staples and Office Depot in their print departments.  Or, watch for information from your town about upcoming shredding events. 5) No heavy trash, please. Items such as mattresses, furniture, scrap metal, flooring and construction debris, etc. should not be brought to Tox-Away Day for disposal. We also are not set up to receive traditional recyclables like bottles, cans, newspaper and cardboard during the events. 6) Stay in your vehicle & let us do the work.  We Hoosiers are helpful & hard working by our nature. But, when it comes to Tox-Away Day, it’s better for everyone if you stay in your vehicle and let us do the unloading. The fact is, it helps keep the lines moving faster. Once one person gets out to help unload, then others begin to do the same thing–all that shifting, unbuckling, door opening, walking, chatting, walking, door closing, re-buckling and shifting takes time… 7) Be on time.  Tox-Away Days operate from 8am until 1pm.  The workers that...

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