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Earth Friendly: Learn what items to recycle

By By Marie Lester
Sept. 20, 2012 at 4:20 a.m.

Marie Lester

It's time for Clean Living with Darryl and Marie.

The city of Victoria's Environmental Services Department's dynamic duo, Darryl and Marie, is here to talk about how to get rid of all the stuff you don't want anymore.

Marie: "Hey, Darryl, you really have a lot of junk. Ahem, I mean, neat stuff around here. I would love to help you get rid of it. Uh, I mean help you get it all organized.

Darryl: "Haven't you ever heard that expression, 'One man's trash is another man's treasure?' I don't need help, Marie. I like my place just how it is. Hey, where are you going?"

Marie: " I am going to get a recycling bin, a phone to call the household hazardous waste hotline, a yard waste bin, a box for your."

Darryl: "You mean you aren't going to just send all my stuff to the landfill?"

Marie: "Of course not! I would never send all your stuff to the landfill. About 80 percent of the waste Americans generate can be recycled or reused. Most of it doesn't need to go into the landfill."

Darryl: "But, I can't wait for our landfill to be high enough to ski on. Mount Victoria."

Marie: "Even though there are landfills that have been turned into recreational parks, our landfill will never be as tall as a mountain. There are rules stating that our landfill can only be a certain height and that the slope can't be very steep. So, no skiing for you. And besides, it doesn't snow in Texas."

Darryl: "So, if you aren't putting my stuff in a landfill, what are you going to do with it? Wait, I can still eat that!"

Marie: "I wouldn't recommend eating that. I found it with your dirty socks. Let's go ahead and compost it. I am going to sort your stuff into categories for recycling, reusing, composting or hauling to the landfill. Then we will place calls and haul it to the right location."

Recycling: You can recycle paper, cardboard, plastic No. 1-No. 7 (no Styrofoam), metal, glass and cardboard. Since Darryl lives in the Victoria city limits, we can put his recycling into his green and yellow recycle cart. If he lived outside the city limits, we would take it to one of the county recycling sites at 301 Quail Creek Drive or 415 Aviation Drive.

Hazardous waste and E-Waste: Household hazardous waste and electronic waste is collected by Waste Management's At Your Door service. Call 1-800-449-7587 to schedule a pickup. They will accept items like paints, pesticides, lightbulbs, TVs and computers. For a complete list, visit victoriatx.org (click Environmental, then Household Hazardous Waste).

Brush and yard waste: Any kind of plant material that comes from your yard goes to the Garden-Ville composting site next to the landfill. So, make sure to put your yard trimmings in a separate container than your garbage, like an old trashcan or a cardboard box. You can compost your food waste at home, because food waste is not accepted at the Garden-Ville site.

Medications: On Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can take expired or unused over the counter or prescription medications to the Victoria County Sheriff's Office at 101 N. Glass St. in Victoria. Your medications will get shipped to the Drug Enforcement Agency where they will be incinerated.

Garbage: Very few items are left to go in the garbage. A few of these include diapers, low grade paper products (like paper towels), and Styrofoam. I might throw Darryl's dirty socks in the garbage, too.

Stuff that is just too good to get rid of, but you really don't need it: You can give good stuff away to places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Habitat Restore.

Darryl: Marie, can I keep my .

Marie: Yes, Darryl, you can keep your favorite smelly sneakers. I would be hard pressed to find someone I could pay to haul those away.

Join Darryl and Marie and keep it clean. Find out more at victoriatx.org.

Marie Lester is the environmental programs coordinator for the City of Victoria's Environmental Services Department. You may contact her with topic ideas, inspiration, questions and comments at cmlester@victoriatx.org.

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