Recycling & Waste
Understanding what should and should not go into your trash and recycle bins is important to help keep our environment clean. Check out the tabs below to learn more about waste in Oldsmar.
Residential Do's and Don'ts
Did you know that just because there is a recycling triangle on a container, it does not mean it is recyclable? Understanding what can and cannot be recycled in residential programs can be confusing! Things that are recyclable in one city are not the same in another. Throwing wrong items into your recycling bin can contaminate an entire load. Check out the easy Do's and Don'ts of recycling in Oldsmar below. And remember:
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
|Residential DO's||Residential DON'Ts|
|1. Metal - Only food and drink cans||1. Food Soiled - No greasy or food soiled containers|
|2. Glass - Only bottles and jars||2. Styrofoam - Not recycled in residential programs|
|3. Plastic - Only bottles and jugs||3. Hard Plastics - Not all plastics are recyclable|
|4. Cartons - No straws||4. Plastic Bags - No plastic bags & film in residential programs|
|5. Paper & Cardboard - Clean & dry, No food residue, No shredded paper||5. Tanglers - Chains, hoses, light strands, & other tanglers|
In the US, it is estimated that 40% of food produced is thrown away...most of which is at the consumer level. This equals $1,800 average household food waste per year! Here are some simple ways to help reduce your food waste:
- Cook only the amount of food you will eat
- Keep fruits and vegetables visible so they do not get lost or forgotten in the fridge
- Freeze or preserve fruits, vegetables, and meat at the height of freshness to use at a later time
- Compost scraps
Composting is a simple and easy way to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Composted food and yard waste provides a nutrient rich soil enrichment that helps retain moisture, reduce plant diseases and pests, and decreases the need for chemical fertilizers. Follow the simple steps below to start composting today!
- Create a pile of green and brown materials - Green materials can include grass, vegetables, and coffee grounds. Brown materials can include dead leaves, wood clippings, and topsoil.
- Avoid meat, bones, and dairy products - These items can spoil and attract unwanted pests. Eggshells CAN be added to compost, which will provide calcium to your garden.
- Keep pile moist - Lightly water and mix your pile periodically. Note: if your pile is uncovered, watering will depend on rainfall and sun exposure. You want the pile to be damp but not wet.
- Add complete compost to garden - Your compost is complete when the pile is dark and there are no more remnants lefts in the pile. The time it takes for complete breakdown is dependent on conditions of you pile. In close to ideal conditions, completed compost can be produces in six weeks.
|~ Choose an appropriate location||~ Compost meat or bones|
|~ Compost vegetable and fruit waste||~ Compost dairy|
|~ Compost paper towels||~ Compost pet waste|
|~ Compost coffee grounds||~ Compost yard trimming with pesticides|
|~ Layer brown and green material||~ Let your pile dry out|
|~ Keep you pile moist|
|~ Mix your pile periodically|
Most electronics and chemicals should not be put into residential garbage. Chemicals improperly thrown away can end up in our stormwater systems that lead to the Bay. It is actually illegal to dump into any stormwater system (an illicit discharge), even if it is unintentional. Luckily, Pinellas County offers chemical and electronic recycling at their Household Electronics and Chemical Collection Center (HEC3), where they also operate a swap shop that is free for county residents.
Laptops, cell phones, TVs, computer monitors, CPUs/computer towers, power supplies, hard drives, motherboards, and tablets
Paints and painting chemicals, stains, pool and spa chemicals, pesticides, lawn chemicals, all non-alkaline batteries, fluorescent and projector bulbs, automotive fluids, kerosene, household cleaners, propane tanks under 1lb, smoke detectors, solvents, adhesives, mercury-containing devices