Another Successful Earth Day Recycling Event

A huge thank you for a successful Earth Day 2022 fundraiser! For the past few years, the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission (ESC) and the City of Hilliard have sponsored recycling events to divert hard-to-recycle materials from the landfill.

These items typically include expanded polystyrene (ESP, or commonly known as polystyrene) and electronics (e-waste). Additionally, shredding was offered to accommodate confidential paper items.

As part of that effort, ESC and the city hosted a recycling event last month where 17,500 pounds of paper, 9,667 pounds of electronics and approximately 2,000 pounds of Styrofoam were collected. More than 320 cars brought material. It was by far the highest turnout since the Earth Day recycling event launched nearly a decade ago.

It is important to note that although ESP cannot be put in your curbside recycling bin collected by the city, it can be recycled. The collected polystyrene foam was made into bricks at the collection site by our recently acquired foam densification machine (made possible by SWACO grant funding), eliminating the need to transport the material to another county for the treatment, as in previous years.

This type of material takes up a lot of space in the landfill, so densify it and then resell it to a third party to reuse it in making other materials such as insulation, hangers, ornamental moldings and frames is a great way to extend the life of our landfill.

Old or non-working electronics are another waste that is difficult to recycle and are also not allowed in your curbside recycling container. But specialized companies in our region should accept certain types of electronic waste (eg computers and printers) and either repair them or recover reusable materials (precious metals).

We have partnered with RenTek, a local e-waste management company, to collect and process collected electronic items. The collected electronics are to be used to teach more than 241 hours of professional skills to the men and women of RenTek’s training programs.

Look at the environment:How littered is Hilliard?

A significant new development on the recycling front is the availability of a 24/7 polystyrene collection container located at the Composting Station in the City Hall parking lot at 3800 Municipal Road . (It is no longer collected at the community center.)

Clean, tape-free polystyrene foam (no peanuts please) can be dropped off at any time, saving you the hassle of storing bulky stuff until the next recycling event. In addition, discussions are underway to provide an electronics collection bin. More on this later.

We therefore thank all the residents of Hilliard who participated in our recent recycling event, allowing us to divert a significant volume of waste from the landfill. This project is another way the Town of Hilliard is working hard to become a model community for sustainable practices.

Greg Smith is a member of the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission.

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