• Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Rss

Learning Center

Here District staff members provide timely and useful information to you in a format that will allow you to quickly learn how every step you take to reduce, reuse and recycle DOES matter. The best way to stay connected and ensure you receive updates and reminders from us is to sign up for our e-newsletter; just complete the form at the bottom of our homepage.

Green Halloween

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in Learning Center

Halloween unofficially kicks off the season of celebrations. This is a great time to reduce garbage by using all of those other R’s you know so well (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink). So, start the season off right with these Green Halloween tips. Junk A Pumpkin – Think bent silverware, excess crafting supplies, game pieces, puzzle piece, screws, springs, doll hair… Up until now, these have been those items you have laying around that you didn’t know what to do with. Now you do! Check out this blog and video for some simple but creative ideas. Some of those bobbles and bits that are filling your junk drawer are also great scarecrow decorations! Un-decorate and Eat it – Choose a cooking pumpkin to decorate. Once you are finished with the decorated pumpkin, take off the easy-to-remove reusable decorations and make some pumpkin pie. Yum! Compost – Make sure to cut up the unused portions of your pumpkin and put them in your compost pile. Don’t have one? We can help you learn right here. Tricks for Toting Treats – Go ‘Charlie Brown’ and opt for the good ole pillowcase, reuse your plastic pumpkin, make a t-shirt bag, or use your reusable grocery bags to carry your treats. Bonus: Reusable bags hold more treats! Make your Own Costume – Have you seen the prices of costumes? There are many cool ideas online. Pinterest tons of great ideas. Bring Nature Indoors – Nature is a wonderful place to find decorations that bring the colors and smells of fall indoors to enjoy. Acorns, dried beans and corn, corn husks, gourds, pine cones, leaves, and twigs with brightly-colored berries make beautiful centerpieces. Since Halloween is just the beginning of our holiday celebrations, there are many other opportunities for greening your holidays. Like us on Facebook for more tips as the season rolls...

Read More »

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...

Read More »

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. ...

Read More »

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. ...

Read More »