Thank you so much for the successful 2022 Earth Day collection! Over the past few years, the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission (ESC) and the city of Hilliard have sponsored recycling events to divert hard-to-recycle materials from landfills.
These items typically include expanded polystyrene (ESP, otherwise known as Styrofoam) and electronics (electronic waste). In addition, shredding has been offered to hold secret paper items.
In keeping with this effort, ESC and the city hosted a recycling event last month where 17,500 pounds of paper, 9,667 pounds of electronics and about 2,000 pounds of Styrofoam were collected. More than 320 cars donated materials. This is the largest turnout since the Earth Day recycling event began nearly a decade ago.
It is important to note that while ESP cannot be put into curbside recycling containers collected by the city, it is recyclable. The collected Styrofoam is processed into bricks at the collection site with our newly acquired foam crusher machine (made possible with a SWACO grant), eliminating the need to transport the material to other areas for processing, as in previous years.
This type of material takes up a lot of space in the landfill, so compacting it and then selling it to third parties for reuse in the manufacture of other materials such as insulation, clothes hangers, decorative prints and photo frames is a great way to extend the life of our landfills.
Old or malfunctioning electronics is another waste material that is difficult to recycle and is also not allowed in your curbside recycling bin. But specialized companies in our area have to accept certain types of electronic waste (for example, computers and printers) and either repair them or take reusable materials (precious metals) from them.
We have partnered with RenTek, a local e-waste company, to collect and process the collected e-waste. The electronics collected will be used to teach over 241 hours of job skills to men and women in the RenTek training program.
Eyes in the Environment:How dirty is Hilliard?
An important new development in the area of recycling is the availability of Styrofoam collection containers available 24/7 located at the composting station in the city hall parking lot at 3800 Municipal Way. (No longer collected at the community center.)
Clean, duct-free (no nuts) Styrofoam can be stored any time, avoiding the need to store bulky materials until the next recycling event. In addition, discussions are underway to provide electronic recycling bins. More information on this later.
So, we thank all Hilliard residents who participated in our recent recycling activities, allowing us to divert significant volumes of waste away from landfills. This project is another way the city of Hilliard is working hard to be an exemplary community for sustainable practice.
Greg Smith is a member of the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission.