Here’s a quiz.
Is it all right to put the following items into your blue recycling bin. Yes or No?
• Ironing boards, air conditioning filters, garden hoses, toilet seats, helium tanks, medical waste, Christmas lights.
• Blow dryers, lawn chairs, steering wheels, chain saws, hip boots, space heaters, fax machines, printers, stereo speakers.
If you said "no," to all of those, then you would be right.
Believe it or not, the above items are often picked out of the trash collected once a week from the 40-50 percent of city residents who voluntarily take advantage of the city’s free recycling service.
Ken McCombs, manager of the city’s Materials Recovery Facility at the landfill, says he is still surprised at some of the items tossed into the blue bins for pickup.
It’s not just that an unacceptable item is not recyclable, but when it goes through the million dollar MRV sorting system it can cause damage to the machine and slow or stop the procedure.
Garden hoses are especially damaging, and medical waste is particularly dangerous for the employees who don’t know what’s inside that bag or where those needles have been.
McCombs supervises four operators and a dozen collectors. The paid staff is supplemented by several community service workers each day.
Most wear gloves, overalls and face masks as they sweep trash into piles. That’s when the decisions are made about small items that can be recycled and what needs special disposition.
McCombs says it’s a matter of educating the public as to what they can safely and neatly dispose of in the blue bin.
Jennifer Rodman works alongside McCombs as the illegal dump officer for Faulkner County. She has the power to have deputies make an arrest of those who have defaced the countryside with their trash.
Three projects will bring more attention to the activities at the recycling center and landfill.
The annual E-Waste Drive is set for 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 19, for local businesses and Saturday, April 20, for Faulkner County residents.
The event is hosted by the Conway Sanitation Department along with the Faulkner County Solid Waste District.
Computers, TVs, copiers, fax machines and other approved electronic devices will be accepted free of charge for recycling during this event held at the Landfill/Recycling facility, 4550 Hwy 64 West, the Old Morrilton Highway, in Conway.
There is a fee to recycle that equipment the rest of the year, but participation in the "free" days is growing, McCombs says.
Curbside glass recycling
Curbside glass recycling is now available to Conway residents. Call 501-450-6155 to request a free Glass Recycling Bin to be delivered to your door.
Glass routes will run on the same day as the garbage route. Place the filled Glass Recycling Bin curbside at least 5 feet from the trash cart prior to 7 a.m. on route day.
Glass must be rinsed clean; all types of household beverage and food glass containers are acceptable. Lids and lables may be left on the clean glass.
Free untreated mulch
Free untreated mulch is now available for pickup at the City of Conway Landfill/Compost Facility.
The Mulch will be given away 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234.)