In Lenawee County, we care about the future of our planet. That is why we are focused on expanding our recycling programs. The average person throws away about 4.4 pounds of trash each day. Most of the things we throw away end up in landfills, but studies have found that up to 80% of the trash that ends up in landfills could be recycled. Nine out of ten people say that they would recycle if it was easier to do so.
Diana Schroeder, Recycling Program Coordinator at the Lenawee Solid Waste Department. “That is one of the reasons we have the recycling center.”
Where is the Lenawee County Recycling Center?
The Recycling Center is located at 307 River Street in Adrian. It is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm every day including weekends. The center is closed on four major holidays per year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The Recycling Center is open to everyone in Lenawee County and, according to Schroeder, even some non-residents use it. “People who work in town will bring their recycling here and drop it off on their way to work or on their way home, whichever is most convenient.”
What types of items can be recycled?
Residents can drop off their recycling in one of two compactors that are dedicated for specific types of items. The first container covers household items such as clean aluminum foil pans, clear and colored glass, plastics #1-7 and tin cans. The second container covers paper-based items such as cardboard, chipboard, newspaper and office paper.
There is one item that residents should never place into the compactors: plastic bags. These bags can cause lots of problems for the recycling vendor. “A lot of people will put their recycling materials in plastic bags, bring them to the facility and throw the entire bag into the compactor,” explains Schroeder. “But these bags can get tangled up in the conveyors at the recycler and it can shut down their entire operation.”
Residents who bring their items in a plastic bag should empty the bag into the compactor and re-use the bag or take it to the grocery store or another location that accepts plastic bags for recycling.
What other recycling events are happening in the county?
Lenawee County hosts special collection events twice per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. At these events, residents can drop off materials for recycling that are not accepted at the recycling center or their local curbside programs. Some of the items collected include tires, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, air pillow packs, and clean egg cartons and meat trays. Residents can also dispose of propane tanks from 1-100 pounds and fire extinguishers.
“We also have a partnership with Habitat of Lenawee County to collect working and non-working household appliances,” says Schroeder. “They have an HVAC provider on-site to remove the freon from freon-based appliances free of charge, which is a huge help for us.”
At this time, Lenawee County does not accept computers or other household or electronics for recycling. Residents should take these items to the local Goodwill for re-use or recycling.
How can you get involved in recycling?
Volunteers are always needed to help at the special collection events in the spring and fall. These events are held rain or shine, and they usually attract large crowds. Volunteers are needed to guide cars along through the line and collect items for recycling. There is also a comprehensive list of recycling opportunities on Lenawee County’s Web site. This list will tell you where you can recycle or donate a variety of household items.
“Recycling is important to keep our landfills from filling up too quickly,” says Schroeder. “The more we can keep out of the landfill, the cleaner and healthier our environment will be.”
If you have questions about recycling, call the Lenawee Solid Waste Department at (517) 264-4511.