Editorial, Local, Mauldin

More about stuff you want to get rid of

Last month, I mentioned that there are three categories of items that the sanitation and public works crews look for on collection days: regular household waste, yard debris, and recyclable material.

Taft Matney

We focused on regular household waste and the dos and don’ts behind it to make sure your trash gets collected in a timely manner.

This month I want to offer some tips about yard debris and recycling.

First, in case you don’t know, glass is no longer collected as a recyclable material. Unfortunately, we had to give that up a couple of years ago. We didn’t want to, but our recycler closed, and it was no longer cost-effective to keep collecting glass. In fact, it would have cost taxpayers to collect it if we continued because of the distance we would have to contract with someone to take it. There are still a lot of materials we collect for recycling, though, and unlike many cities, you don’t have to separate items before placing them at the curb for pickup. Just put them all in your blue recycling roll cart or collection bin, and the recycling fairy will take it all away.

When it comes to recycling, the city collects:

• Aluminum beverage cans, aluminum foil, and aluminum pie pans rinsed and clean of food,
• Dry newspaper, inserts, brown paper bags,
• Magazines, catalogs, mailers, telephone books,
• Junk mail (including envelopes with windows),
• Copy paper, notebook paper, and computer paper (continuous form, perforated paper),
• Plastic bottles and jugs with a neck and marked with a chasing arrow and a #1 – #7 on the bottom (e.g. milk jugs, water jugs, detergent bottles, beverage bottles, etc.)
• Food and beverage steel “tin” cans (including empty aerosol cans – all sizes),
• Cardboard (e.g. moving boxes, appliance boxes, etc.), and
• Paperboard (e.g. cereal boxes, shoe boxes, beverage boxes that have been broken down)

So, even though we don’t collect glass anymore, there’s still a lot that we do collect for recycling.

What about yard debris? I get a lot of questions about this.

The basic rules are:

• All items must be placed curbside.
• Grass and small hedge trimmings must be bagged, tied closed, and placed on the street.
•  Loose leaves may be placed at the curb or edge of street to be vacuumed.
•  Catch basins, inlets, and gutters should be kept free of leaves and debris.
•  Limited amounts of tree limbs and bush trimmings (4 cubic ft.) will be collected by the city. Materials shall be piled as neatly as possible. Limbs are to be no larger than 6 feet in length and 6 inches in diameter.
•  Loose yard debris should not be placed in trash containers. Trash receptacles containing loose yard debris will not be emptied.
• Yard debris should not be co-mingled. Please place leaves in a pile separate from limbs.
• Please keep all curbside piles away from catch basins to prevent storm drain clogging.

There are some yard debris items that are not collectable. Soil, sod, and other excavated material will not be removed, and yard waste produced and collected by contractors who work for city residents must be disposed of by the contractor.

I said it last month, and I’ll say it again. If you ever wonder about what will and won’t be picked up by the city, call Mauldin’s Department of Public Works at (864) 289-8904. They’ll answer any questions you have.

— Taft Matney serves in Seat 1 on Mauldin city Council. He can be reached at tmatney@mauldincitysc.com♦

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