A huge thank you for a successful 2022 Earth Day collection! For the past several years, the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission (ESC) and the city of Hilliard have sponsored recycling events to divert difficult-to-recycle material from the landfill.
These items have typically included expanded polystyrene (ESP, or commonly referred to as Styrofoam) and electronics (e-waste). In addition, shredding has been offered to accommodate confidential paper items.
In keeping with this effort, the ESC and the city hosted a recycling event this past month whereby 17,500 pounds of paper, 9,667 pounds of electronics and approximately 2,000 pounds of Styrofoam were collected. More than 320 cars contributed material. This by far was the biggest turnout since the Earth Day recycling event was initiated almost a decade ago.
It is important to note that although ESP cannot be put in your curbside recycling container collected by the city, it can be recycled. The Styrofoam collected was processed into bricks at the collection site by our recently acquired foam densifier machine (made possible with SWACO grant funding), thereby eliminating the need to transport the material to another county for processing, as in previous years.
This type of material takes up a lot of space in the landfill, so densifying it and then selling it to a third party for reuse in the manufacture of other materials such as insulation, clothing hangers, ornamental moldings and picture frames is a great way to extend the life of our landfill.
Old or non-working electronic items are another difficult-to-recycle waste material and are also not permitted in your curbside recycling container. But specialized companies in our area should accept certain types of e-waste (for example, computers and printers) and either repair them or salvage reusable materials (valuable metals) from them.
We have partnered with RenTek, a local e-waste company, to collect and process the collected electronic items. The collected electronics are to be used to teach more than 241 hours of job skills to the men and women in RenTek’s training programs.
Eye on the Environment:How littered is Hilliard?
An important new development on the recycling front is the availability of a 24/7 drop-off Styrofoam collection container located at the composting station in the city hall parking lot at 3800 Municipal Way. (It is no longer collected at the community center.)
Clean and tape-free Styrofoam (no peanuts please) can be deposited at any time, thereby avoiding the need to store the bulky material until the next recycling event. In addition, discussions are underway to provide a drop-off electronics recycling bin. More information on this later.
So, we thank all the Hilliard residents who participated in our recent recycling evert, thereby enabling us to divert a meaningful volume of waste from the landfill. This project is another way the city of Hilliard is working hard to become a model community for sustainable practices.
Greg Smith is a member of the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission.