Plastic Explained

There are many types of plastics made from many different kinds of resins, and different processes used to create them. Just because plastic has the recycling arrows on it doesn’t mean it is recyclable in our program. A plastic must be something that is in demand, or in other words, something that end-users want or need to make a product. Sometimes different plastic items share the same number, but they are not all recyclable. For example a #2 cottage cheese carton can’t be recycled with a #2 laundry detergent bottle. The two items require a different manufacturing process, and they respond differently to heat when they go through the recycling process. If you have questions about what can be recycled, please call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685.

Backyard Composting

Composting can help you manage yard waste at home. It can be adapted to fit individual lifestyles, yard sizes, and ambitions. Some different methods of composting are, open piles, burying material in pits or trenches, and collecting them in drums or bins. In order to be effective, compost piles need to be at least 1 cubic yard in size. This provides the insulation required to sustain the high temperatures in the middle of the pile. Compost bins can be commercial units or constructed at home from inexpensive materials.

Start the composting process with 50% green and 50% brown materials cut no larger than 1 inch in size. Add water every 7 to 10 days as necessary. Your compost should not be dry, but you also don’t want it to be soggy. It is ready to use when it is dark brown, crumbly, and smells like fresh turned soil.

The compost produced is an excellent soil conditioner. It improves soil structure by binding particles together. This improves aeration and helps soil retain moisture and nutrients. Compost also improves drainage in clay soils and water retention in sandy soils. Compost can store nutrients and release them slowly for use by surrounding plants, possibly reducing the need for fertilizers.

Here is some help to get you started: Green Materials – Grass clippings, garden trimmings, green leaves, livestock manure, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, tea leaves and bags.  Brown Materials – Wood chips, sawdust, yard waste shreds, pine and fir needles, straw and hay, dry grass and leaves, nut shells, and stale bread.

Click this link to watch a video on composting.

Please Make Sure What You Are Putting In Your Recycling Bin Is Recyclable!

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It’s important to recycle, but it is also important to make sure the material you are placing in your bin is recyclable. non-recyclable material contaminates good recyclables, takes up room in the collection truck, slows down the process at the Recycling Center, and costs us all more money to deal with. If you have questions about what is recyclable, call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685.  Some common items that are mistaken for recyclables are, pop and beer containers, gable top milk and juice containers, gift wrap, Styrofoam, Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, or other plastic wrap, plastic bags, paper plates, paper towels, napkins, and Kleenex. Please put these items in the garbage to go to the Landfill.

Yard Waste Containers at the Ottumwa/Wapello County Recycling Center

Effective March 1st, 2016, the yard waste containers at the Recycling Center will be moved to the Ottumwa/Wapello County Landfill. It will still be free for residential yard waste that is being hauled to the Landfill by the homeowner. The Landfill will have an area set up adjacent to the scales, so that it will not be necessary to drive down into the Landfill if you don’t have brush. Brush will still have to be taken to the yard waste area of the Landfill. Remember to cover your load to avoid a tarp fee. If you have questions about going to the Landfill call 641-683-0644.

Fall Cleaning Time! Bring your old E-Waste to the Recycling Center

Saturday October 10th the Recycling Center will have an E-Waste Event from 7am to Noon.
TVs and large commercial copiers are $10, Misc. Electronics $2, computer monitor, notebooks, tablets small printers, household copiers, CPU towers, and laptops $5. Call the Recycling Center for more information.
Household Hazardous Waste Appointments will also be available during this time period. Remember hazardous waste will be taken By Appointment ONLY. Household hazardous waste are items that say “warning, caution, danger, poison, and combustible. If you would like to bring items that Saturday morning, make a list of your items and call the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685 for an appointment. Appointments will be made every 15 minutes in succession.

You Can Help The Recycling Center By Sorting Recycling Properly

The way you sort your recycling in your bin makes a big difference when it reaches the Recycling Center. Please don’t bag plastic bottles, tin cans, glass jars, and aluminum cans. Items that can become windblown need to be bagged to be in compliance with City of Ottumwa code. Please don’t bag cardboard and newspaper together. Please don’t include glass, tin, plastic or aluminum with the paper products. Cardboard and paperboard (Kleenex boxes/shoe boxes ) can be bagged together. Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, telephone directories, paperback books, and office paper can be bagged together in a separate bag from cardboard. Pop and beer containers, gable top milk and juice cartons, bags of bags, Styrofoam, foam packing material, paper plates, paper towels, plastic wrap of any kind, and Kleenex should go in your garbage that goes to the Landfill.