Best Practices for Recycling in the New Year

As we work together to recycle and keep Lexington green in the New Year, please keep in mind that certain categories of recyclables require special handling.  What follows is an overview of best practices, beginning with three broad categories of materials and corresponding details for how to handle those items:

  1. Electronics—Monitors, old computers, cell phones, printers, and similar items can be recycled at Lexington’s Electronics Recycling Center,  It is located at 1306 Versailles Road.  A full list of acceptable items is available here.  The complex components of electronics can be toxic to the environment in a landfill and difficult to deconstruct in a standard recycling center.  Therefore, please take e-waste to Lexington’s Electronics Recycling Center for appropriate care.
  2. Batteries—Most rechargeable batteries, like those built into cell phones, can go to Lexington’s Electronics Recycling Center. The facility, however, does not recycle alkaline batteries, which are the common non-rechargeable  batteries such as AA, AAA, 9V available at many retailers.  Those batteries can be recycled at Batteries Plus for a small fee.  Lead acid, a chemical composition commonly used in car batteries, can be recycled at Batteries Plus but not the Electronics Recycling Center.
  3. Metal items—Common items like aluminum beverage cans, steel cans for food, etc. can go in your blue recycling cart after rinsing. However, metal items such as knives, forks, chains, and helium tanks should not be placed in your blue recycling cart.  Instead, those items should go to a specific metal recycling receptacle at the Lexington Recycling Center located at 360 Thompson Road.

A couple of types of items are available for pick-up at no charge.  These include:

  1. Appliances—Residents with waste collection service can arrange for LFUCG pick up of air conditioners, freezers, refrigerators, water heaters, and similar appliances at no charge. LFUCG will accept appliances with Freon but not those with oil.  For complete details regarding appliances including how to arrange a pickup, please click here.  Alternately, you can drop off your appliances at 3899 Winchester Road.
  2. Christmas trees—LFUCG will collect artificial and natural Christmas trees until January 26, 2018 as part of the city’s weekly waste collection. Natural trees will be composted.  Unfortunately, artificial trees will go to a landfill.  I would therefore encourage you to donate your unneeded yet cared for artificial trees to the Habitat for Humanity Restore at 451 Southland Drive. Additional detail is available at LexingtonRestore.com.  You can learn more about holiday-related recycling services here.  A graphic detailing the recycling services for most common holiday materials is available here.

Additionally, many items one might intuitively think would go into the blue recycling cart should instead be handled differently.   These items include but are not limited to the following:

  • Plastic bags from the grocery (can be returned and recycled at many stores)
  • Air pillows for shipping
  • Molded plastic packaging for electronics and toys
  • Coat hangers
  • Disposable cups, hot or cold
  • Lids to plastic bottles and containers

Rather than committing these special cases to memory, I recommend printing this sheet detailing what can be recycled in a blue cart, this sheet detailing what cannot be recycled in a blue cart, and this sheet reviewing the protocol for electronics.  Placing these sheets next to your home recycling bin can be a helpful reminder.  LexTV also has a PSA video viewable online here.

For those who do not receive waste collection services from the city, please take your regular recycling items to one of the locations noted on the map at this link.

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