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The "Dos and Don’ts" of Spring Cleaning

Graphic: Composting solid manureCourtesy: www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca
Graphic: Composting solid manure
Courtesy: www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca
March 27, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The first week of spring is drawing to a close. Now and in days to come, New Mexicans will be busy removing yard debris and cleaning out basements and garages.

Some of the items that have been collecting dust all winter in your home can't be thrown out or recycled, according to Reo Menning, spokeswoman for Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa.

"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."

RinChem Co. has drop-off locations for toxic wastes from your house, garage and workshop in 13 states. In Albuquerque, it accepts varnish, motor oil, batteries and other substances four days a week at no charge at its Edith Boulevard location.

Lawn waste shouldn't be tossed in the trash either, she said. Spring 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 whatever is not being composted, Albuquerque's Solid Waste Management customers can take advantage of a free spring green-waste pick-up. Others may use the three convenience centers in the north, west, and south sides of Albuquerque. There is a charge for dropping off waste at the centers.

Renee Blake, Public News Service - NM