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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


American Flags

There is a collection box at Alpha Ridge Landfill for old and worn U.S. flags that need to be retired. Representatives from the American Legion Adams, Hanna, Moore Memorial Post 156, will retrieve the flags and make sure they are disposed of in a dignified fashion as required by the U.S. Flag Code. Disposal ceremonies will be conducted a handful of times each year in coordination with local Scout troops. Wow! 573 flags were retired during their September ceremony. Here are upcoming flag retirement dates, December 17, 2016, March 25, 2017, June 17, 2017 and September 23, 2017.


Ammunition

For proper disposal of ammunition, please contact 2 A Sales & Supplies at 240-456-0060 (in Jessup) or On Target, Inc at 301-621-7777 (in Severn).


Antifreeze

Antifreeze should not be poured down the drain. Antifreeze (not mixed with oil or other substances) can be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center Monday-Saturday 8am to 4pm. Please leave container for attendant to empty.


Appliances

Working appliances should be reused/donated. Check out BGE to earn cash, list them on Craigslist or FreeCycle, schedule a pick-up from Habitat ReStore in Columbia or The Loading Dock, or simply put them at the curb with a FREE sign. For non-working appliances, schedule a scrap metal collection (call 410-313-6444) or take appliances to the scrap metal area at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Refrigerators (doors removed), air conditioners and dehumidifiers must be placed next to the scrap metal drop-off so the Freon can be removed.

Small appliances (toasters, mixers, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc) can be taken to The Alpha Ridge Landfill to be recycled with scrap metal. Or, if you have a large amount of scrap metal, call 410-313-6444 to schedule a curbside pickup.


Automobiles

Benefit charitable organizations by donating vehicles to groups such as Wheels for Wishes, Goodwill or Cars for Breast Cancer.


Baby/Kid's Items

Donate usable items, such a strollers and high chairs to a local charity or second-hand store, or contact BabyEarth.com for a mail-in program. Buy and sell kid's items using ThredUP or toystotrade.com. Have unused diapers? Donate them to NationalDiaperBankNetwork.org. Remove the padding from a car seat and recycle the plastic part at your curb or at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Batteries

Alkaline batteries after 1995 are OK to be disposed of in your regular trash. For other batteries, including rechargeable and button, see our Battery Recycling webpage.


Bicycles

Did you know? The Glenwood Lions Club collected 205 bikes and 9 scooters at the Alpha Ridge Landfill from April through October. Collection at Alpha Ridge is currently on hold, but in the meantime, donate bicycles to Goodwill or Salvation Army for reuse. Consider Bikes for the World to donate to less developed countries and Velocipede, located in Baltimore . If your bike isn't in good condition, contact your local bike store to see if they can use the parts or as a last resort, recycle it with scrap metal at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Binders

Recycle binders at Office Depot and receive a $2 off coupon.


Books

New! Donate Books for Columbia’s Sister City Tema in Ghana! Hardbacks are preferred, but paperbacks in good condition are also acceptable. Books can be dropped off on Saturdays from 10am-2pm at the American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle, Suite G-16 (the former Lakeside Deli) until Saturday, December 3. If you would like to assist in the cost of shipment, you can make a tax-deductible donation at https://cfhoco.org/give/donate/. For more information or to arrange to drop off books during the week, please call Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or email: Laura.Smit@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Donate books to your local Howard County library. Check out MD Book Bank, paperbackswap.com and Second Edition Books for buy-back and donation, The Book Thing of Baltimore for donating and free book pick-up, Discover Books for local drop-off bins that support literacy in Howard County schools, or send books to overseas troops through Operation Paperback. If you have textbooks, or other valuable books, check out half.com or amazon.com to sell them.


Bras

Check out BraRecycling.com and DonateYourBra.com to recycle and reuse used and unused bras. Bras can also be donated to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Purple Heart, Planet Aid, etc.


Brita Water Filters

Look for "Gimme 5" recycling drop-off locations or mail them in. For details, visit preserveproducts.com.


Candles

Millhouse candles accepts unpainted wax (soywax, beeswax, paraffin, tapers, tea light, jars, pillars, scented or unscented - ALL COLORS). Mail donations to Millhouse Candles, P.O. Box 148, Keedysville, MD 21756-0148 or take them to a participating event (check events on their website).


Cardboard

What's better than recycling? Reuse! Check out BoxCycle and ABCBoxes to donate boxes, or get reusable boxes. If you can't reuse the boxes, cardboard can be recycled in curbside recycling or taken to the Alpha Ridge Residents' Convenience Center. Please flatten cardboard boxes and remove StyrofoamTM packaging. StyrofoamTM#6 can be recycled at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Carpet

When shopping, ask contractors if they recycle used carpet. Visit the Carpet America Recovery Effort for details. Effective November 1, 2015, Alpha Ridge Landfill (ARL) will no longer accept carpet for recycling. Carpet taken to ARL will be disposed as trash and an $80 per ton fee will apply.


Catalogs

Visit CatalogChoice.org to stop unwanted catalogs. Remember: Reducing waste is better than recycling!


CDs & DVDs and Cases

Usable CDs or DVDs should be donated to your local library, Goodwill or The Salvation Army. For kid's DVDs, contact your local pediatric hospital. Or, Murfie stores discs, recycles jewel cases and creates digital versions of your music for you to download. Visit Greendisk.com or cdrecyclingforfree.com for mail-in recycling programs.


Cell Phones

Bring them to the Alpha Ridge Landfill or check our electronics recycling guide. Also, visit www.sellcell.comwww.greenbuyback.com, www.cashforiphones.com or www.tradeupmobile.com to get paid for recycling.


CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes

Please put incandescent bulbs in your household trash and refer to the CFL recycling page for proper disposal of other bulbs and tubes.


Chopsticks

Check out 50 uses for disposable chopsticks.


Christmas and Holiday Lights

Working lights can be donated to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Broken/dead strands can be taken to Alpha Ridge Landfill and recycled with electronics (DO NOT put in your curbside recycling). Or, send them to HolidayLEDs.com or Christmas Light Source and receive a coupon for new lights.


Christmas Trees

Undecorated artificial trees and wreaths can be recycled with scrap metal at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Area.

Undecorated live trees and wreaths can be recycled in the woodwaste area at Alpha Ridge Landfill. During the holiday season, visit our Merry Mulch webpage.


Clamshells (plastic)

At this time, Waste Management is unable to recycle plastic clamshells due to the way they are manufactured. While we wait for technology and markets, avoid purchasing items in clamshells and consider these reuse ideas to keep those clamshells out of the trash.


Cleats

Caring Cleats collects used soccer cleats and redistributes them to the Tarahumara Indian community in Chihuahua, Mexico. Email Kennedy at kennedycitro@verizon.net or call 443-433-2386.


Clothing

Donate clothing to local shelters or charities, such as GreenDrop, Goodwill and Salvation Army. Or, bring gently used clothing to the Alpha Ridge Landfill for donation. Have items that aren't wearable? Donate them! Many donation organization partner with rag manufacturers. Also check out The North Face's ClothesTheLoop program.

Dress Clothes

Success in Style in Savage Mill collects new or gently worn business clothing and accessories. Dress for Success accepts women's interview attire via mail-in or drop-off. To donate men's interview attire, visit Career Gear or contact Million Dollar Man at 410-465-0295 or mdm2429@gmail.com


Compressed Gas Tanks

Propane, helium & oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers are accepted at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Or, return tanks to the seller.


Construction, Renovation & Demolition Items

Please visit our Construction & Demolition webpage.


Cooking Oil

The Alpha Ridge Landfill accepts vegetable-based cooking oil for recycling.


Corks

Recycle wine corks in the lobby of the Roger Carter Center in Ellicott City (corks are sent to Sole). You can also take corks to Whole Foods, My Organic Market (MOMs) or visit recork.org for additional drop-off locations. Or, check out 11 ways to reuse corks.


Crayons

Make new crayons by microwaving old crayon stubs in a paper cup for 15-second intervals. The melted crayon blob will harden into a new crazy and colorful crayon! Or visit CrazyCrayons.com or The Crayon Initiative to learn about a mail-in program for old crayons. Also see "Markers" below.


Crocs Shoes

Return your old, worn-out Crocs to the Croc store in Arundel Mills or Annapolis.


Electronics

Recycle or donate old electronic items. Best Buy and Staples have electronics recycling (see company links for restrictions). Participating Goodwill locations accept computer equipment. For more options, visit our Electronics webpage. My Organic Market also does an annual electronics drive.


Energy Bar Wrappers, Chip Bags, Juice Pouches

Crinkly wrappers from chips and snack bars are not recyclable. However, Terracycle collects wrappers to make handbags, pencil cases and more. Your local school may have a collection program. My Organic Market also accept snack bags and wrappers.


Exercise Videos

Swap videos and DVDs on VideoFitness.com.


Eye Glasses

Donate old glasses so they can be worn rather than take up drawer space. Order a donation box from VSP, check your local eye doctor, the Columbia Lions Club, OneSight.org or My Organic Market for other drop-off locations.


Flip Flops

Check out do-it-yourself crafts.


Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas tanks such as propane, helium, & oxygen tanks are accepted at Alpha Ridge Landfill for recycling. Also consider returning tanks to the seller.


Food Scraps

Compost items such as banana peels, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells to make a nutrient-rich soil. For details about a free compost bin, visit our Composting webpage.


Furniture & Home Goods

There are many local donation options and pick-up organizations to give your used furniture and home goods a second life. Think your furniture is beyond repair and not good enough for donation? Think again! Give those items a chance and donate them. Check out our donation directory for local options. If your items are truly trash and have no life left, please visit our Bulk Item website.


Game Consoles

Trade-in video games and consoles at local game stores or e-tradepost.com


Garden Equipment

Garden Harvest collects farm and garden tools for growing organic fruits & vegetables and for donating to Appalachia.


Gift Cards

Recycle plastic cards at kiosks in Best Buy or visit Earthworks. Or, if you have a gift card you won't use, sell it on Plasticjungle.com or Swapagift.com.


Glass Bottles & Jars

Any color glass bottles & jars can be recycled in your curbside recycling or taken to the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center (just show your driver's license).


Golf Clubs

The First Tee of Baltimore accepts good condition golf equipment to help Baltimore's children gain valuable life skills.


Grills

Grills can be recycled with scrap metal. Call 410-313-6444 to schedule a curbside collection or recycle your grill at Alpha Ridge Convenience Center (just show your driver's license). You can also recycle your propane tank at Alpha Ridge in the compressed gas tank area. Please do not put gas tanks in the scrap metal area.


Hangers

Plastic Hangers

Contact your local donation center to see if they need hangers. Reuse is the best option, but tubular, colored hangers can be placed in your curbside recycling container or taken to the Alpha Ridge Landfill for recycling. Please note that clear, acrylic plastic hangers are not recyclable.

Wire Hangers

Contact your local dry cleaner to see if they take back wire hangers or reuse them with these great craft ideas. If you can't find a reuse home, group the hangers together, tape them around the neck and at one spot around the bottom and place the hangers in your curbside recycling. Taping the wire hangers allows them to be more easily separated at the recycling plant.


Hockey Equipment

Restore Hockey cleans, refurbishes and repairs used equipment and then donates the items to children, families and organizations.


Household Hazardous Waste

Visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.


Ink Cartridges

Take ink and toner cartridges to the Howard County Animal Shelter on Davis Road (they recycle and make some money). Or, check out retailers such as Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Walgreens and the Post Office. Some offer an incentive coupon. There are also mail-back programs including Dell and Quill.


Jeans

Check out 9 uses for your old jeans.


Junk Mail

Check out these 25 ways to reduce or reuse your junk mail. Or, of course, you can recycle all that junk mail!


K-Cups

At this time, K-Cups are not recyclable in Howard County. However, the coffee inside can be composted in your backyard compost pile. Keurig now has recyclable pods available on their website. Check out this mail back recycling program and watch a video to learn more about Keurig's sustainability measures.


Lego

Doesn't matter if your set is not complete. IBuyLego.com wants them!


Light Bulbs

Burnt-out incandescent light bulbs can be disposed in the trash. Have CFLs? Please take these bulbs to a customer take-back program at Home Depot, Lowes, My Organic Market (MOMs), Ikea or to an Alpha Ridge Landfill HHW day on Saturdays (April-November).


Mason Jars

Check out some neat craft ideas for mason jars.


Markers

Crayola's ColorCycle program works with elementary schools to turn markers into energy. Prang also has a mail-in marker recycling program.


Mattresses & Box Springs

Mattresses & box springs can be recycled at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Residents can also schedule curbside bulk item collection by calling 410-313-6444. Mattresses & box springs collected at the curb will not be recycled. If possible, take them to the Alpha Ridge to give them a chance to be made into something new!


Medical and Rehabilitation Equipment

Donate gently used items to the Loan Closet or Wheels for the World. Donated items are made available to those who can't afford equipment or only require items on a short-term basis.


Medication

DO NOT flush unwanted medications down the toilet.

Options:

  • The Howard County Police Department and HC Drug Free have three permanent medication disposal boxes to assist residents in disposing of unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications safely and anonymously. These are available daily and year-round. They are located at the Northern District Station (3410 Courthouse Drive in Ellicott City), Southern District Station (11226 Scaggsville Road in Laurel) and Gary Arthur Community Center (2400 Route 97 in Cooksville). Questions? Call 410-313-3200.medicine
  • Local pharmacies may offer take-back or mail-in programs. Rite Aid, CVS and Giant sell prepaid envelopes that can be mailed to a disposal facility.
  • Place pills or liquid in a plastic zip-top bag with coffee grounds, flour or kitty litter and put the bag in your regular trash. This makes the medicines undesirable and prevents toxins from contaminating our drinking water.
  • Looking outside of Howard County? Take advantage of DEA sponsored programs when available. Visit www.dea.gov for dates and locations.
  • Visit www.disposemymeds.org for additional information and details.

Once you have safely disposed of the medication, recycle the empty medicine bottles.


Metal Cans

Aluminum, steel & tin cans (even pet food!), aluminum foil, aluminum bakeware and EMPTY aerosol cans can be recycled in your curbside recycling or taken to the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center (just show your driver's license).


Needles (Medical Sharps

1) Place used needles in an empty plastic bottle (ex. detergent bottle) to protect the trash collection crew. When the bottle is full, add the cap and put the bottle in your trash.

2) Your local pharmacy may offer disposal or exchange services.

3) Sharps Disposal Services: American Waste Management (410-276-7400), Biomedical Waste Services (410-437-6590)

4) Purchase containers for safe mail-in disposal: Sharps Disposal by Mail System, Waste Management MedWaste Tracker, MedPro Disposal.


Oil & Filters

Motor oil, oil filters and hydraulic oils (brake, transmission or power steering) can be taken to the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center (just show your driver's license).


Oyster & Clam Shells

Don't just shuck 'em and chuck 'em. Bring your empty oyster and clam shells to Alpha Ridge Landfill for reuse. Shells will be picked up by the Oyster Recovery Partnership and taken to the Horn Point Laboratory Oyster Hatchery where they will be cleaned and reseeded with oyster larvae before being reintroduced into the Bay. Shells can also be taken to the Robinson Nature Center.


Paint

Here's a paint calculator to avoid leftovers. Hold a paint swap with friends so that usable paint doesn't go to waste. Mix white (or colored) paints together to give walls or furniture a fresh look. Solidify old and unusable paint by adding an absorbent material such as cat litter, shredded newspaper, leaves, sawdust, dirt or a paint hardener. If there isn't much paint left in the can, leave the lid off to air dry. Once solidified, leave the lid off so the contractors can see it's solid and set it out with your regular trash. For more ideas, visit www.ehow.com. You can also contact Yuck Old Paint and ask for a pickup or drop-off paint at our Household Hazardous Waste days at Alpha Ridge Landfill (Saturdays ONLY in April-November).

Make chalk paint out of leftover paint you have at home. Chalk paint is great for craft projects including furniture restoration. All that you need is a little leftover latex paint, some Plaster of Paris or Calcium carbonate and water. Try one of these crafty blogs to get started: salvagedinspirations.com, homesweetthriftyhome.com or littlebighouseontheprairie1.blogspot.com .


Paper

Place in your curbside recycling or taken to the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center: newspapers & inserts, phone books, junk mail (even window envelopes), food & snack boxes, books, greeting cards, gift wrap (no foil type), tubes for paper towels & toilet paper, shoe boxes, paper board egg cartons, shredded paper (please secure in paper bag or white/clear plastic bag).


Pet Food/Bird Seed Bags

Unfortunately, most are NOT RECYCLABLE. These bags are typically layers of different materials and once those layers are together, it's hard to get components separated so that they can be made into new things. Still not sure? Do the 'tear test'....if you can easily tear the bag and don't see a plastic film layer mixed with the paper, it's good to go for recycling. This holds true for some paper plates and gift wrap too.


Plastic Bags

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - in that order. Use reusable bags so you have less plastic bags. If you already have a few, check out plastic bag reuse ideas. If you can't reuse, then recycle. It's best to take them back to your local retail store. Many locations partner directly with TREX to make plastic wood. Here's a plastic bag/film cheat sheet with more.


Plastic Items

Plastic bottles, tubs, jars and trays can go in your curbside recycling or recycled at Alpha Ridge Convenience Center, just show your driver's license. Large plastic items, such as playhouses, totes, laundry baskets and buckets can be recycled at curbside or taken to the Rigid Plastics area at the Residents' Convenience Center.


Pots and Pans

Donate usable pots and pans to a charity, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Unusable pots and pans can be recycled with scrap metal at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center.


Roofing Shingles

Shingles can be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center (tipping fee will apply). Did you know? One normal-sized roof recycled into road mix makes about 200 feet of a two-lane highway (Earth911).


Smoke Detectors

Return smoke alarms to the original supplier. For the address, check the product warranty or user manual or see our company list. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.


Sneakers

Nike's ReUSE A SHOE program can turn your old tennis shoes into playground and athletic flooring. If shoes are useable, consider donating them to Goodwill, Salvation Army, My Organic MarketOne World Running or start a shoe collection program through ShoeBox Recycling or Soles4Souls.org.


Soap

Register a soap drive, visit cleantheworld.org. Or, here's a DIY project to reuse soap leftovers.


Solar Lights

Recycle solar lights and get money for your next purchase. Visit Your Solar Link.


Sports Equipment

Trade or sell sports equipment at Play It Again Sports.


Stamps

Send stamps to Stamp Out Poverty.


Stuffed Animals

Salvation Army and other donation organizations may collect stuffed animals, just give your favorite donation location a call to double-check. Check out Teddy Bear Brigade for mail-in programs or contact your local churches and daycares to see if they're interested in gently used stuffed animals.


Styrofoam™

Styrofoam™ can be recycled at Alpha Ridge Convenience Center. Items must be labeled with the #6. See our Styrofoam™ website for restrictions. Some UPS stores collect Styrofoam for recycling. Foam blocks are also accepted by the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (AFPR).


Styrofoam™ Packing Peanuts

Styrofoam™ peanuts can't be recycled at Alpha Ridge Landfill. However, local shipping retailers (Mail Boxes Etc, Fedex, UPS) may accept the peanuts for reuse. Visit loosefillpackaging.com for drop-off locations or call the Peanut Hotline at 1-800-828-2214.


Tennis Balls

Donate old tennis balls to your local nursing/retirement community to be used on the feet of walkers. Start a collection drive and Rebounces will re-pressurize and resell the tennis balls.


Tires

Recycle automobile and truck tires at the Alpha Ridge Residents' Convenience Center. (Commercial haulers see Landfill Fee Schedule). ARL does not accept tires on rims, tires over 4' in diameter or over 15" in width. NOTE: Rims can be recycled in the scrap metal container. Limit of 4 tires per year.


T-Shirts

Of course you can donate t-shirts to your favorite charity, but if you have shirts that you just can't bear to part with, check out these great reuse projects for 'upcycling' t-shirts.


Towels/Linens

Donate frayed/stained towels and linens to your local animal shelter (PetFinder.com) or check out these other towel ideas.


Toys

Set up a toy swap with friends and neighbors. Donate old toys to Salvation Army, Goodwill or similar donation site. Check out toysfortrade.com, toyswap.com, craigslist or eBay to find new uses for those toys.


Tyvek Envelopes

Envelopes can be sent to Dupont for recycling. 


Umbrellas

Have a broken umbrella? Click here for repair and reuse ideas. Or, remove the fabric and recycle the base with scrap metal at Alpha Ridge Landfill.


Unique Items

For unique (or antique) items, check online sale sites such as eBay.com, or search for a local consignment shop.


Vacuum Cleaners

If the vacuum still works, please consider donating it. If the vacuum cannot be fixed, recycle it with electronics at the Alpha Ridge Landfill or visit GoVacuum.com to learn about a recycling/payment program.


VHS Tapes, Cassette Tapes, etc.

Usable VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs or DVDs may be able to be donate to your local library or charity.Visit ACTRecycling.orgGreendisk.com, or cdrecyclingforfree.com for mail-in recycling programs. CDs & DVDs and their clear acrylic cases can be recycled at Best Buy.


Wedding Dresses and Accessories

Buy/sell used wedding gowns and accessories at PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, SmartBrideBoutique.comRecycledBride.com or BravoBride.com. You can also donate locally at Cherie Amour Bridal Resale, or visit DonateMyWeddingDress.org for a list of charities.


Wheel Chairs & Walkers

Donate gently used items to the Loan Closet or Wheels for the World. Donated items are made available to those who can't afford equipment or only require items on a short-term basis.


X-Rays

Click on the following links to recycle old x-rays; Shaw Recovery Services and Accurate Recovery Systems.


Yard Trim

Visit our Yard Trim Recycling webpage.


Yoga Mats

Here are some great reuse ideas for your old yoga mats.



Other Donation Opportunities

See our Local Donation Directory or visit mdrecycles.org.


Swap Sites

Check out swap sites, such as craigslist.orglistia.com or freecycle.org to list good items (for sale or for free) that you no longer want.


The Baltimore FREE Store

This 'store' accepts usable items for donation, including clothing, household items, small furniture and shoes. Most items will then be offered for free to promote reuse. For more details, visit their facebook page or call 410-340-9004.



Let's work together to keep recyclable and reusable items out of the trash!
Please send additional websites or locations to awilcom@howardcountymd.gov.

This information is provided as a service to residents.
Howard County does not endorse products, services or vendors.