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What Do I Do With?
How do I dispose of alkaline batteries?
Alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste. These batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste. Alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals - steel, zinc and manganese - and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. Proven cost-effective and environmentally safe recycling processes are not yet universally available for alkaline batteries. Recommended disposal of alkaline batteries in Cuyahoga County is in your regular trash collection.
It is important not to dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries in a group. Used batteries are often not completely "dead." Grouping used batteries together can bring these "live" batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks. Throwing away one or two batteries as they are exhausted is perfectly acceptable.
How do I dispose of rechargeable batteries?
Batteries that are rechargeable and/or contain heavy metals should be recycled. This includes lithium, lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, zinc air, and lead acid batteries. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) provides recycling drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries at retail stores such as Alltel, Best Buy, Cingular Wireless, Home Depot, Radio Shack, Sears, Staples, Target, and Walmart. For a complete list call 1-800-8- BATTERY or visit www.rbrc.com We also accept these types of batteries in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.
How do I dispose of lead acid batteries?
Lead acid batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid and are used as a source of power. Perhaps the most common lead-acid battery is the one that is used to start your car. On April 25, 2008, a new Ohio law became effective that prohibits the disposal of lead acid batteries in solid or hazardous waste landfills. The law is intended to ensure that all spent lead acid batteries are recycled in Ohio. The law also requires wholesalers and retailers of lead acid batteries to take your old battery for recycling when you buy a new one. Batteries that are covered by the law include batteries used in vehicles, motorcycles, wheelchairs, boats, or other forms of motive power. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that recycle lead acid batteries, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry. We also accept these types of batteries in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.
How do I recycle books?
Many unwanted books can be donated to local libraries, schools and community centers. For a list of these donation opportunities, call the Solid Waste District at (216) 443-3749 to request Pass It On: A Resource-Full Guide to Donating Usable Stuff. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that recycle books, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry.
Where can I donate clothing?
You can find a charitable organization that accepts clothing donations by using the District’s book Pass It On: A Resource-Full Guide to Donating Usable Stuff, or drop off your clothing at one of the boxes located throughout Cuyahoga County for local non-profit organizations.
In February 2013, H&M launched a garment-recycling initiative that allows customers to exchange any used garments, from any brand, in any condition, at each of H&M’s 269 (and growing) U.S. stores and 48 markets worldwide. This will help avoid textile waste, save natural resources and reduce environmental impact. H&M offers an incentive for the program. For each bag of clothing donated, customers will receive a voucher worth 15% off of their next purchased item.
How do I dispose of construction waste?
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is defined as materials resulting from the alteration, construction, destruction, rehabilitation or repair of any physical structure. Materials include lumber, drywall, brick concrete, metals, plaster, windows, roofing materials, plumbing fixtures, electrical wiring, heating equipment, asphalt, insulation and carpeting. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that accept construction & demolition debris, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry.
Can computers be recycled?
Yes, the District sponsors Recycle Your Computer Month twice a year to collect unwanted residential computers for refurbishing or recycling. Collections events are held at your city service department during these times. Businesses with computers to recycle should call RET3 job corp. at (216) 361-9991.
How do I dispose of a fire extinguisher?
Metal fire extinguishers can be refilled rather than thrown away when empty, unless it was manufactured before 1984. Extinguishers made of plastic are not recyclable and can be placed in the regular trash when empty. The District accepts fire extinguishers in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that dispose of fire extinguishers, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry.
My American flag is tattered and worn. How do I properly dispose of it?
Our national symbol should not be placed in the regular rubbish. When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, National Sojourners, and other organizations regularly conduct dignified flag-burning ceremonies, often on Flag Day (June 14). You can also mail your tattered flag to a flag disposal organization, such as Flag Keepers.
For more information about care and treatment of the U.S. flag, read information on the United States Flag Code.
How do I dispose of old, expired flares?
Some local fire departments have controlled burns or disposal programs for old or expired flares. Contact your community for more information. The Cleveland Fire Department Fire Training Academy also accepts flares for disposal; call (216) 664-6880. Cuyahoga Community College's Fire Training Academy may also have a disposal program; call (216) 987-5076. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you dispose of flares at your local fire department or contact your closest Coast Guard station and ask if they hold flare training/demonstration days for the public. Marine and road flares are not accepted in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.
How do I dispose of oil from a deep fryer?
Over 2 million folks across the country deep-fry their turkey every Thanksgiving, and cleaning up can be troublesome. With 3-to-5 gallons of used oil on your hands, disposing of it isn't as easy as just putting it in the garbage. Some city service departments collect fryer oil for disposal, so check with your municipality to see if there is a local drop-off. Also, restaurants and bars might be willing to take your fryer oil and add it in to their regular fryer oil collection. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that recycle fryer oil, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry.
What do I do with old paint and other hazardous materials?
Paint cans with dried paint should be placed in your regular trash. Small quantities of paint and all latex paints can be air-dried and disposed in the trash. To help residents dispose of oil-based paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, and other hazardous products found in the home, the Solid Waste District has a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program. Hazardous materials from households can be turned in for free; latex paint is not accepted. Collections are held at your city service department.
How do I dispose of latex paint?
The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District does not accept latex paint in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program because it is not a hazardous material. Latex paint is safe to dispose with your household trash as long as it is dried out. Here are step-by-step instructions on disposing of latex paint.
How can I recycle an old mattress?
Ohio Mattress Recovery and Recycling in Willoughby, Ohio provides mattress and box spring recycling. Pick-up is available for large quantities. Call (440) 856-3685 or email@example.com.
Medicine & Needles
How do I dispose of medical waste?
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office now offers an ongoing disposal option. The Sheriff's RX Drug Drop Box Program is an opportunity for residents to deposit unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs at drop boxes located at participating local law enforcement agencies across Cuyahoga County. To find a drop off location visit www.rxdrugdropbox.org, or call 2-1-1. Needles and liquids cannot be accepted.
With special care, unwanted medicines and needles from self-injectors can also be placed in the regular trash.
Mercury & Fluorescent Bulbs
How I dispose of items with mercury?
The Solid Waste Management District offers a free program to collect household mercury items from the public. Residents may turn in liquid mercury items at four locations in Cuyahoga County.
What should I do with fluorescent bulbs?
Compact fluorescent lamps and other energy-efficient lighting such as linear fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps contain a very small amount of mercury. All fluorescent bulbs should be recycled properly to protect public health and the environment.
How do I clean-up a broken fluorescent bulb?
In December 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released new guidelines on how to deal with mercury-containing compact fluorescent light bulbs that break in the home. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury sealed in the glass tubing. When broken, some of the mercury is released as mercury vapor. The EPA said the bulb will continue to leak mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the home.
Where can I have documents shredded?
Shredding events are hosted by municipalities for their own residents. Most events are held in the spring or fall. Contact your city hall or city service department for information about a local shred day.
If your city does not host shred days, you have the option of taking your materials to a private company. On the first Saturday of each month, SHRED-IT offers general document shredding from 9:00-12:00 p.m. The cost of this service is $4.00 per box. SHRED-IT is located at 5480 Cloverleaf Parkway #7, Cleveland, 44125. For more information, call (440) 243-8500 or visit www.shredit.com/_miniSites/USA/Cleveland/Secure-Drop-Off
The UPS Stores also offer document shredding services; call your local store for more information.
How can recycle phone books?
The Solid Waste District holds the annual Phone Book Recycling Campaign from June 1-September 30 at twelve Cleveland Metroparks locations. In addition, many communities provide phone book recycling when the new books are delivered each summer. Check with your community.
How do I dispose of an old propane tank that can’t be refilled?
Due to new government regulations regarding the safety devices on propane tanks, tanks with a round or star-shaped hand wheel are obsolete and cannot be refilled. Old cylinders can be exchanged at the store where the new tank is purchased. For more information or an exchange location near you, log onto www.bluerhino.com or www.amerigas.com. For a list of businesses in Cuyahoga County that recycle propane tanks, see our online Recycling Directory for Business & Industry.
What should I do with an old smoke detector?
Although it is legal to dispose of your ionization detector in the trash, we encourage you to return the product back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer is mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory law 10 CFR 32.27 to see that the radioactive waste is disposed at a nuclear waste disposal facility. When sending back a smoke detector, you should not take it apart. The entire smoke detector needs to be returned to the manufacturer or store by UPS ground mail (not air mail). The batteries, however, should be removed and properly disposed of. No special shipping is needed for your smoke detector. Just put it in a box, maybe with some newspaper for padding, and send it.
If you are unable to return a smoke detector to the manufacturer, it can be disposed of in the regular garbage. We do not accept smoke detectors in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.
How do I dispose of Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is a trade name for expanded polystyrene (EPS). Locally, Styrofoam #6 EPS can be recycled at Buckeye Industries, 33851 Curtis Boulevard, Suite 207 in Eastlake. Office hours are M-F 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Buckeye Industries will take Styrofoam #6 EPS from individuals as well as businesses. Styrofoam contaminated with food or chemicals will not be accepted. The Styrofoam is processed through a densifier and is sold to a company that uses the product to make molded picture frames. For more information, call (440) 942-1605.
Styrofoam peanuts from packaging can be taken to Northcoast Recycling, 1305 Lloyd Road in Wickliffe. For more information, call (440) 943-6968. Packing peanuts can also be donated to a store that ship packages like the UPS stores, or reuse it as your own packing material.
Televisions & Electronics
How do I recycle televisions and other electronics?
While there is no ban in Ohio on placing televisions and electronics in the regular trash, there are retailers and local companies that offer recycling services for these items. A fee is usually charged.
Best Buy stores will recycle old televisions up to 32” for free. Log onto www.bestbuy.com/recycling Staples stores will recycle old office technology at no charge. Visit www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/easy-on-the-planet/recycling-and-eco-services.html
How do I get rid of old tires?
When you buy new tires, dispose of your old tires through your tire retailer at the time of purchase. There is a small fee charged for tire disposal, which is a tax used for transporting and disposing of tires through state licensed facilities. If you already have tires at home, contact one of the following three store chains who provide tire disposal for non-customers. These include Conrad’s Tire Express, Firestone Auto Care, and National Tire and Battery.