11% of the stuff Howard County residents think is recyclable and put in their blue bin...doesn't belong and ends up as trash.
Play our game and drag & drop items to the correct place to see how much you "KNOW" Before You Throw. Play it again for new items too!
Hint: ARL stands for Alpha Ridge Landfill, which has lots of options for proper disposal!
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. Ceremonies will be conducted in coordination with local Scout troops from 10am to 2pm on December 16, 2017 and March 17, June 16 and September 22, 2018.
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 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.
Have older items that you think may be valuable? Check out nearby consignment stores to resell those items such as Housewerks and online shopping communities like www.tias.com. Also visit The New York Salvage for ideas about values.
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.
Benefit charitable organizations by donating vehicles to groups such as Wheels for Wishes, Goodwill or Cars for Breast Cancer.
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.
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. Many different types of batteries can also be dropped off at My Organic Market (MOM's).
Bring reusable bicycles to Alpha Ridge and give those bikes another life! Look for the Reusable Bicycle shed (please no tricycles or motorized bikes). This is a partnership with the Lions Club of Glenwood and Bikes for the World which has donated bikes to youth projects in Africa, Costa Rica, Barbados, El Salvador, DC and rural Kentucky. Also consider 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.
Donate usable binders to your favorite charity. Spiral bound paper notebooks and notepads can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin. Broken binders belong in the trash.
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.
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.
Send filters to Terracycle's Brita Brigade recycling program to earn money for your local organizations. Win Win! Or, drop them off at My Organic Market (MOM's).
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.
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.
Visit CatalogChoice.org to stop unwanted catalogs. Remember: Reducing waste is better than recycling!
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.
Bring them to the Alpha Ridge Landfill or check our electronics recycling guide. Also, visit www.sellcell.com, www.greenbuyback.com, www.cashforiphones.com or www.tradeupmobile.com to get paid for recycling.
Please put incandescent and LED bulbs in your household trash and refer to the CFL recycling page for proper disposal of other bulbs and tubes.
Check out 50 uses for disposable chopsticks.
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.
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.
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.
Caring Cleats collects used soccer cleats and redistributes them to the Tarahumara Indian community in Chihuahua, Mexico. Email Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-433-2386.
Donate clothing to local shelters or charities, such as Linwood Center, 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.
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 email@example.com
Propane, helium & oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers are accepted at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Or, return tanks to the seller.
Whether it's a huge renovation or small home project, please visit our Construction & Demolition webpage for what to do with debris material you no longer need.
The Alpha Ridge Landfill accepts vegetable-based cooking oil for recycling.
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 (MOM's) or visit recork.org for additional drop-off locations. Or, check out 11 ways to reuse corks.
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! Crayola also has some neat crayon crafts. Crayons are not recyclable in your blue bin, but you can visit CrazyCrayons.com or The Crayon Initiative to learn about a mail-in program for old crayons. Also see "Markers" below.
Return your old, worn-out Crocs to the Croc store in Arundel Mills or Annapolis.
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 (MOM's) also does an annual electronics drive.
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 (MOM's) also accepts snack bags and wrappers.
Swap videos and DVDs on VideoFitness.com.
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 (MOM's) for other drop-off locations.
If you have an old EZ-Pass, please return it to a drop box at an EZ-Pass Customer Service Location. Check out our email blast for locations. Or, bring the pass to a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day at the Alpha Ridge Landfill (Saturdays ONLY, April-November).
Check out do-it-yourself crafts.
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.
Compost items such as banana peels, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells to make a nutrient-rich soil. For details about a FREE backyard compost bin, visit our Composting webpage. Check to see if you're in our Feed The Green Bin Area. If you are, sign up to get a FREE green bin. If your area doesn't receive collection (yet), you can drop-off food scraps at the Alpha Ridge Landfill for composting in our food scrap pilot area, or take those food scraps to My Organic Market (MOM's) which offers composting as well! Check out the webpages for details about what is accepted.
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.
Trade-in video games and consoles at local game stores or e-tradepost.com
Garden Harvest collects farm and garden tools for growing organic fruits & vegetables and for donating to Appalachia.
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.
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).
The First Tee of Baltimore accepts good condition golf equipment to help Baltimore's children gain valuable life skills.
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.
Contact your local donation center to see if they need hangers. Reuse is the best option. Plastic hangers are not recyclable because they can jam processing equipment at the recycling plant.
Contact your local dry cleaner to see if they take back wire hangers or reuse them with these great craft ideas. Wire hangers are not recyclable in your blue bin because they can jam processing equipment at the recycling plant. However, you can tape them together and bring them to Alpha Ridge Landfill to recycle them with scrap metal.
Restore Hockey cleans, refurbishes and repairs used equipment and then donates the items to children, families and organizations.
Whether it's a huge renovation or small home project, please visit our Construction & Demolition webpage for what to do with home debris material you no longer need.
Visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.
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.
Check out 9 uses for your old jeans.
Check out these 25 ways to reduce or reuse your junk mail. Or, of course, you can recycle all that junk mail!
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.
Check out some neat craft ideas for mason jars.
Always be sure to cap your markers when you're finished, that way you can help them last as long as possible! Please remember that markers are not recyclable in your blue bin. If you have old markers that have been loved so much that their color is dry, 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 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! Ikea now has a mattress recycling program too!
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.
DO NOT flush unwanted medications down the toilet.
Once you have safely disposed of the medication, recycle the empty medicine bottles.
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).
Did you know that certain microbeads used in body and face scrubs are now banned? Plastic beads that are made of polyethylene or polypropylene do not break down and can damage marine life. Some companies, like Proctor & Gamble, have pledged to stop using the beads as early as 2017, but if you have products that contain plastic microbeads, it's best to toss the closed container in the trash. Go to BeatTheMicroBead.com to see a list of affected products.
See "Sharps" below.
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).
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.
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, sawdust 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 .
Place in your curbside recycling or take it to the Alpha Ridge Convenience Center: newspapers & inserts, phone books, junk mail, 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).
According to PayItGreen.org, if 20 percent of American households switched from paper to electronic bills, statements and payments each year, the collective impact would:
To see the impact your household could have, check out this online calculator. For more information and benefits of paperless billing, check out this article from Greenbiz.com.
Contact your current service providers and ask to start paperless billing today!
Good news! You can send your used/dried up/empty pens to the Pen Guy. He gives those pens a new life and uses them in his artwork. Check it out!
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.
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. Clean, dry plastic bags should be returned to participating grocery or retail stores. Dry cleaner bags can be returned to participating grocery, retail and dry cleaner stores. Many of these drop-off locations partner directly with TREX to make plastic wood. Here's a plastic bag/film cheat sheet with more.
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. For some hard to recycle plastic items, such as compacts and brushes, check out Aveda's Full Circle Recycling program for details about what they accept in their stores.
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.
The charge for asphalt shingle disposal at Alpha Ridge Landfill is the commercial tip fee rate of $80 per ton.
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.
Nike's ReUSE A SHOE program can turn your old sneakers into playground and athletic flooring. If shoes are useable, consider donating them to Goodwill, Salvation Army, My Organic Market (MOM's), One World Running or start a shoe collection program through ShoeBox Recycling or Soles4Souls.org.
Before you shred, check out our shredding webpage for tips. Once you have shredded paper, you can use it in your garden. Or, take shredded paper to your local animal shelter (contact them to see what they can use). Shredded paper can also be placed in a paper bag and added to your curbside recycling. Why bagged? Loose shredded paper is like confetti and will make a mess at the facility.
Howard County currently doesn't have a separate collection for smoke detectors. Please place them in your regular trash. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.
Register a soap drive, visit cleantheworld.org. Or, here's a DIY project to reuse soap leftovers.
Recycle solar lights and get money for your next purchase. Visit Your Solar Link.
Trade or sell sports equipment at Play It Again Sports.
Send stamps to Stamp Out Poverty.
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™ #6 can be recycled at The Alpha Ridge Convenience Center. 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™ 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.
Donate old tennis balls to your local nursing/retirement community to be used on the feet of walkers. Or, start a collection drive and send them to Rebounces or Project Green Ball which can reuse and recycle the balls.
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.
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.
Donate frayed/stained towels and linens to your local animal shelter (PetFinder.com) or check out these other towel ideas.
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.
Envelopes can be sent to Dupont for recycling.
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.
For unique (or antique) items, check online sale sites such as eBay.com, or search for a local consignment shop.
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.
Usable VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs or DVDs may be able to be donated to your local library or charity.Visit ACTRecycling.org, Greendisk.com, or cdrecyclingforfree.com for mail-in recycling programs.
Buy/sell used wedding gowns and accessories at PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, SmartBrideBoutique.com, RecycledBride.com or BravoBride.com. You can also donate locally at Cherie Amour Bridal Resale, or visit DonateMyWeddingDress.org for a list of charities.
Untreated wood and lumber can be taken to the Alpha Ridge Landfill Woodwaste Area for recycling into mulch. Treated wood/lumber and railroad ties should be taken to the Alpha Ridge Landfill and will be considered Construction & Demolition Debris, which is not recyclable. Residents disposing of construction, demolition and home improvement material as trash will be directed to weigh in at the scalehouse and will be charged $80/ton ($4 per 100 pounds) of waste.
Some radiology offices will accept old x-rays for recycling, check with yours! (for example, Advanced Radiology will take them back). Or, visit Accurate Recovery Systems.
Visit our Yard Trim Recycling webpage.
Here are some great reuse ideas for your old yoga mats.
EMPTY aerosol cans can be recycled in your curbside recycling. They can also be taken to the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center for recycling.
Paper egg cartons can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin. They can also be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center. Plastic and Styrofoam egg cartons should be reused if possible. Styrofoam egg cartons can also be added to the Styrofoam area at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center. Plastic egg cartons are trash (they are similar to plastic clamshells which are also not acceptable for recycling).
Empty milk and juice cartons can be recycled in your curbside recycling bins. They can also be recycled at the Alpha Ridge Landfill Residents' Convenience Center.
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. Clean, dry plastic bags can be returned to participating grocery or retail stores. Dry cleaner bags can be returned to participating grocery, retail and dry cleaner stores. Many of these drop-off locations partner directly with TREX to make plastic wood. Here's a