Tips for Spring Recycling:

Spring is here, and spring cleaning brings many opportunities to think about reusing or recycling old items that may be cluttering up your home or garage.

It’s also possible to make the process of cleaning itself more eco-friendly: Instead of papers towels, try using rags made from old cloth and fabric. Unlike single-use paper towels, these rags can be washed and reused again and again. Old grocery bags can also double as trash bags, and they’re cheaper than purchasing tons of garbage bags.

Instead of scrubbing surfaces with harsh chemical cleaning products that have to be disposed of at Household Hazardous Waste Events, consider natural alternative cleaning solutions with safer ingredients like baking soda or vinegar. This articlefrom Good Housekeeping contains some helpful instructions for creating natural cleaning solutions for a variety of different surfaces. These homemade alternatives, in addition to being easier to dispose of, also pose less risk to pets and small children. If you do purchase commercial cleaning products, look for non-toxic and biodegradable options.

Synthetic air fresheners sprayed from aerosol cans can also contain harmful pollutants. Freshly cut flowers or baking soda can serve as natural alternatives.

(Don’t forget to dispose of old cans and bottles of chemicals at the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events: click here for a schedule and full list of accepted chemicals and substances.)

Beware of synthetic kitchen sponges. These handy scrubbing tools are usually made of plastic fibers, and all that scrubbing creates tiny bits of microplastic that are then washed down the drain and into the environment. Biodegradable cellulose sponges make for a fantastic environmentally-friendly alternative. These are composed of natural plant fibers that can readily biodegrade. Natural sea sponges are another sustainable scrubbing option.

Once you’ve gathered up the clutter that you no longer need, consult our “miscellaneous items” directory for information about recycling or donating various odds and ends that may be taking up space in a garage or basement:

Nonprofits and social service organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are happy to accept used items like clothing, shoes, books, furniture, small appliances, household items, working electronics, linens, and sporting equipment.

Got old broken TVs, computers, or stereo systems to get rid of? The Boone Grove and Valparaiso Compost Sites can accept many types of household electronics for recycling. The Valparaiso site is open for electronics year-round and it resumes regular season hours on Monday, March 22nd. The Boone Grove Compost site reopens for the season on March22nd.

Boone Grove Compost Site,  

546 South 400 West (Hwy. 8 to 400 West, head north to 550 South)   

Open Monday through Saturday    (Beginning March 22nd



Valparaiso Compost Site,  

2150 West Lincolnway (Hwy. 130 – 1 mile west of intersection with Joliet)   

Open Monday through Saturday  (Beginning March 22nd