Take a look around your house and more than likely you will find something that could be recycled or re-used.
If your items are on the list below, Thurston County will accept them for free or for a minimal charge during Community Recycle Days.
The events will be Sept. 15 at South Sound Speedway, 3720 183rd Ave. S.W. in Rochester; and Sept. 22 at the county fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Road S.E. in Lacey. Both events will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Most of the items accepted are recycled with only a few things destined for reuse.
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Remember, reuse is always more environmentally friendly than recycling.
For items such as electronics and appliances that still work, list them on one of the many free online materials exchange Web sites, such as www.2good2toss.com, www.craigslist.org or www.freecycle.org. One person's trash is another's treasure!
There is a charge for many of the items at the recycling events but the exchange site listings are free.
The following items are accepted, working or not, except where noted.
Accepted for a small fee:
Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners: $15 each (four appliances per vehicle).
Microwaves, TVs, computer monitors, laptop computers: $10 each.
Computer CPU's, printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers less than 50 pounds: $5 each.
Stoves, dishwashers, washers/dryers, hot water tanks: $5 each (no plastic-cased appliances such as dishwashers).
VCRs, DVD or CD players, stereos, speakers: $2 each.
Tires: $2 each without rims, and $3 each with rims (passenger tires only)
Accepted for free:
Scrap metal including de-valved propane tanks. No barbed wire, no motorized vehicles and no major vehicle parts (check with a scrap metal recycler or wrecking yard).
Bicycles with or without tires.
Electronics: power tools, keyboards, computer mouses, phones (includes cell phones) and printed circuit boards.
Small motors, such as chain saws, string trimmers and outboard boat motors.
Lawnmowers: Push or riding.
Flowerpots: 2-gallon or larger, clean and unbroken
Reusable items for Goodwill Industries: working small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and clothing.
Before coming to the event, please fill out the county's tally sheet, which saves everyone time at these busy events. The form can be found at www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm (click on Community Recycle Days in the News and Events section on the left side of the page).
It is also provided in the Thurston County fall/winter edition of the Talkin' Trash newsletter and was sent as a billing insert in the August and September LeMay trash billings.
These events originated in the early 1990s to collect "hard to recycle items." However, these days, most items can easily be recycled at Thurston County's Waste and Recovery Center or at local businesses.
The waste center recycles scrap metal, monitors, TVs, tires and appliances for a small fee. In addition, there is a Goodwill trailer on-site at the waste center for still-usable household items.
Community Recycle Days are for county residents only, sorry no businesses. For more on waste reduction and reuse options, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm, or check the "brown pages" in your Dex phonebook.
Terri Thomas is an education and outreach specialist with Thurston County Solid Waste. She can be reached at 360-754-2896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.