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Cleanup Events are Springing Up Across Iowa

PHOTO: In cities across the state, cleanup days and events are on the calendars in the weeks ahead, helping residents properly dispose of items that can't be trashed. Photo credit: Loren Kerns
PHOTO: In cities across the state, cleanup days and events are on the calendars in the weeks ahead, helping residents properly dispose of items that can't be trashed. Photo credit: Loren Kerns
April 9, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - With more seasonable weather now settling in, folks across Iowa are being reminded that not everything can just go into the trash as they start to tackle projects around the house and the yard.

Leslie Holsapple, Metro Waste Authority program coordinator, said that includes hazardous items such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and aerosol paint cans.

"If you put them in the garbage it eventually goes somewhere - and that somewhere is the landfill," she said. "Our hope is to keep all of those toxic materials out of the landfill, which affects our land quality and our water quality."

Other items that can't just be trashed are old tires, but Holsapple said there are free options to get rid of those.

"Here locally, we have a lot of tire drop-off events that Metro Waste Authority partners with local communities to hold," she said. "And so, it's a great idea to contact your city hall to see if there is a free event going on in your area, to get those tires out of your garage or outside of your home."

The other big chore this time of year is cleaning up yard waste, and Hosapple said collection is under way.

"Here locally, we offer the 'Compost It' program," she said. "Most of the communities offer that, and they can either purchase yard waste bags or you can find out from your local city hall if you actually even have a yard-waste cart option."

The Iowa Legislature banned yard waste from regular garbage collections in 1991.

Free hazardous-waste disposal is provided across the state at Regional Collection Centers. In the Des Moines area, the drop-off site is in Bondurant, and Metro Waste Authority also holds events on the west side.

More information on how to properly dispose of hazardous items, yard waste, old appliances and the like is online at WhereItShouldGo.com. Information is also available at mwatoday.com and iowadnr.gov.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA