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Recycling Roundup

by Rita Raccoon

The Raccoon-ita is here to spur you on to start recycling if you haven't, think about what else you can recycle (yes, there's more!), and pat you on the back if you're going all the way (in a recycling sense).

Recent Recycling News - Fall 2008

The City of Dallas expanded recycling program has been phenomenally successful, resulting in . . .
      over 90,000 requests for blue recycling carts,
      the city recycling 12 percent of its refuse and
      a dramatic increase in recycling to over 5,000 tons a month.

In the Raccoon-ita's own urban neighborhood (Knox Park), blue recycling carts can be found up and down all the alleys.

And by the way, items collected and compressed through the Garland recycling facility are then resold with the city getting 67% of the proceeds.
Way to go, Dallas!

McCommas Landfill to Produce Gas!

City officials in Dallas plan to have the state's first landfill that speeds production of methane gas through biotechnology, then captures it for conversion into natural gas to be used in homes.

If successful, the McCommas landfill would turn banana peels, milk cartons and newspapers into a series of energy-producing compost piles that could fuel up to 16,000 homes. The process also could extend the life of the landfill by its speedy decomposition, perhaps up to 100 years.  "Even though it looks like we're just burying trash, it's really a huge science project," Ron Smith, assistant director of the city's sanitation department, said in The Dallas Morning News. "It's probably going to end up being the largest in the country."

The system can produce methane gas at two to three times the rate of a traditional landfill and could generate $30,000 to $50,000 a month for the city.

Home Depot to take dead CF lightbulbs

We can finally put to bed the whispering campaign that you shouldn't use compact fluorescent light bulbs because they contain mercury and are unsafe to throw away. Now, it's not like they were enormous and filled with a deadly liquid that would poison your kids, dogs, cats and more on their way to taking over the world!  But I digress.

Worry about those CF bulbs no more!  Home Depot will soon take back the bulbs in all 1,973 of its U.S. stores.

Recycling At Work
This website outlines some simple steps to start a workplace recycling program. A hint from Rita's own experience - WIIFM (What's In It For Me). Make sure you highlight the benefits to the company either in cost savings, money made or team building in your proposal. There are several companies who will assist you with a facility-based recycling program - see

Also visit to go green at work. Download Energy Star's "Teaming Up to Save Energy" brochure for how-tos and detailed instructions on starting a "Green team" at the office. The pamphlet includes advice on choosing a director, assigning responsibilities and which tasks to tackle first.

Where can I recycle . . .

Electronics - Trade in your old iPod, laptop, or Gameboy at Costco for cash. See Trade-In Program.

Dry Cleaner Hangars - Take lots of shirts and suits into the dry cleaners?  Have a whole closet-full of wire hangars?  Due to rising wire hanger costs, some dry cleaners are providing cardboard holders to collect and recycle those pesky things. Lakeside Cleaners at Knox and Central Expressway has them - get your cleaner to provide them too!

Ink Jet Cartridges - The US Postal Service has a Pilot Program to help recycle small electronic devices and inkjet printer cartridges through the mail. Currently underway in several areas, the program would allow for items weighing less than a pound to be recycled using postage-paid Mail Back envelopes. Plans are to go nationwide in September.

Old Analog TV's - On Feb. 17, 2009, all TV stations will transmit digitally. Unless you purchase a set-top box, your old analog TV (and its 15 million cousins) will be obsolete. Don't throw away - recycle and prevent the leaking of eight pounds of lead into the environment.  Go to, type in your zipcode and TV, and get a list of recycling locations in your area.

Need to know where to recycle in your neighborhood? Go to to search by zipcode. Great information about all types of recycling.

Like all this great recycling information?  I knew you would! 

Don't cut up your newsletter to save all these great hints - visit the Dallas Sierra Club website for current information about city recycling programs and where you can recycle those odd items.

Contact the Raccoon-ita with your questions/suggestions for recycling.