Column: Summer cleaning made easy

By Amanda Haffele

Warmer weather brings out more “do it yourself” moments such as washing and maintaining your vehicle or working on the house.

All these extra DIY moments may add to the waste stream so whether it’s redoing a room, building a deck, or cleaning the garage, Portage County Solid Waste can provide you with disposal options to help make your project a success.

Car Maintenance
Nothing is more satisfying than working on your own vehicle or lawn mower. Properly disposing of liquids and parts is easy. Antifreeze, oil, oil filters, tires, batteries, and metal parts can be brought to the Transfer Facility any time of the year during normal operating hours.

Debris typically found in vehicles, such as crumpled paper and empty drink bottles, are great candidates for the recycling bin.

Working on the House
Residents can dispose of construction and demolition materials at the Transfer Facility. Construction and demolition materials can be anything from flooring, plywood, toilets, sinks, cabinets, to windows, drywall, or shingles. Items such as faucets, garbage disposals, light fixtures (with ballasts removed), or appliances should be recycled with scrap metal.

Old, leftover, or unwanted stain, varnish, lacquer, paints, or striper can be properly disposed of with our Household Hazardous Waste Program. Appointments are necessary so call prior to showing up, so call ahead at 715-346-1931. The program runs from March through mid-November.

Save money and dry latex paint at home by mixing in a commercial hardener, kitty litter, or Oil-Dri. Fill the container half full with your hardener of choice, mix completely, leave the lid off, and let it harden for 2-4 days in a well-ventilated area. Once dry, it can be disposed of in the trash. Remember to keep the lid separated from the can when disposing.

Cleaning the Inside of the House
Residents may bring unwanted furniture such as couches, mattresses, chairs, dressers, etc. to the Transfer Facility for disposal. Household cleaners can be disposed of using the Hazardous Waste Program. Cleaning out the fridge or freezer? Before recycling any containers empty all food or liquids.

Unwanted, old, or broken electronics and appliances can be recycled properly at the Transfer Facility for a small fee.

Yard Work
Unless made of metal, broken yard ornaments or lawn furniture are not recyclable and should be thrown into the trash. Metal lawn ornaments can be dropped off at our facility or a salvage yard to be recycled as scrap metal. Plastic lawn furniture or kitty pools can be dropped off for recycling at the Transfer Facility.

Pots and potting flats are not recyclable and must be thrown into the trash or saved and reused for next year. Check with your local nursery to see if they’ll take them back for reuse.

It’s grilling season, which means we go through more propane than normal. If your cylinder becomes empty, please exchange the large ones with new if possible. Otherwise, bring them and smaller ones to the Transfer Facility for safe and proper disposal. Never put these in your recycling or trash carts, they can act like bombs if they are punctured at our facility or within a trash collection truck. If properly disposing of them with us, there is no need to remove the value and puncture a hole in the side.

Yard waste (branches, leaves, garden debris) is not something we can accept at our facility. Check with your municipality for options or compost onsite if you’re able to. Invasive species (ex. Japanese knotweed, spotted knapweed, garlic mustard) should always be bagged and sealed to kill the plant and seeds.

Don’t be shy, we’d love to see you. We’re located just outside of the Village of Plover off County Road B, at 600 Moore Rd. We’re open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Lastly, many items do have a charge to help offset the cost of disposal. Visit our website or give us a call for rates. Happy Summer.

Amanda Haffele is the Portage County Solid Waste Director. She works at the Material Recovery Facility, 600 Moore Rd., Plover, and can be reached at 715.343.6297 or [email protected]