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The "Do’s and Don’ts" of Spring Cleaning

PHOTO: In the coming weeks, Iowans will be busy removing yard debris and cleaning out their garages and basements.
PHOTO: In the coming weeks, Iowans will be busy removing yard debris and cleaning out their garages and basements.
March 20, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa - By the calendar, today is the first day of spring. In the coming weeks, Iowans will be busy removing yard debris and cleaning out their garages and basements.

Reo Menning, spokeswoman for Metro Waste Authority, said some of the items that have been collecting dust all winter in your home can't be thrown out or recycled.

"Lawn chemicals, used motor oil, paint are some of the more common things that you might want to get rid of," she said, "and, really, the garbage is not the best place for those. They need to be disposed of properly through a hazardous-waste dropoff."

Lawn waste shouldn't be tossed in the trash either, she said. Most Iowa communities have some sort of yard waste pick-up in the spring. This spring in particular is a good time to skip fertilizer," she said, "and go instead with compost on yards and gardens.

"Compost is a much safer alternative to fertilizer and it's even better at holding moisture," she said. "So, since we've been experiencing quite a bit of drought conditions, using compost is much better than fertilizer, because it will actually hold the moisture in your soil."

For big items such as tires or appliances, she said, many communities also have spring cleanup days where they will take these items and ensure they are disposed of properly.

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA