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Recycle and Reuse While Doing Your Spring Cleaning

It's the time of the year when many people do some spring cleaning projects, and advocates hope you think of re-using and recycling too. (Virginia Carter)
It's the time of the year when many people do some spring cleaning projects, and advocates hope you think of re-using and recycling too. (Virginia Carter)
March 29, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Vernal Equinox has a strange effect on many people, experts say it can increase metabolism and turnover of brain neurotransmitters, giving a sense of renewal and new beginnings.

That may help explain people's instinctive need to declutter, organize and clean in the spring.

Lisa Disbrow, regional spokesperson for Waste Management, says more garbage is tossed out this time of the year, and she encourages Hoosiers to recycle and reuse as much as possible.

She says one thing to avoid is throwing things into the recycle bin that don't belong there, because that can trash your whole effort to help the environment.

"It can tie up our equipment, and it ends up causing contamination at the facilities," says Disbrow. "And if you put the wrong items in your recycling cart, it can actually ruin the whole load of recyclables."

Disbrow says keep it simple as you recycle - cans, bottles, paper and plastics - and always consider whether an item can be donated before tossing it out.

She also cautions people to keep all electronics and hazardous waste out of trash bins, because those can cause contamination at landfills.

Disbrow says the best way to avoid having too much trash is to avoid creating it in the first place.

"Instead of using tradition air fresheners, you might want to consider opening a box of baking soda or using dried flowers," she says. "Just open the windows and just help circulate fresh air after the winter and we've had everything closed up tight."

She says small steps like this save money and go a long way toward protecting the environment.

Disbrow adds there are benefits of spring cleaning for the yard and garden, too.

"As you're starting to do yard work, starting to gather up the tree limbs, you can gather that material up and start a compost area or bin," Disbrow says. "During the warmer weather, the contents in the compost areas are able to break down more easily."

Advocates like the Indiana Recycling Coalition have been successful in pushing schools to start campus recycling programs, and a license plate program that allows state residents to buy a specialty plate with the money going to support recycling efforts.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN