Full disclosure: although some have those easy throw-everything-into-the-blue-bin services, I do not, and therein lies my frustration: I don’t know where to take recyclables. So I have been investigating Cherokee County’s opportunities.
The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s Going Green Committee puts out a recycling guide on their website. The two big county sites accepting recyclables are the Cherokee Recycling Center at 470 Blalock Road (taking paper, magazines, newspapers, cardboard, plastics 1-7 except Styrofoam and plastic bags, all cans and all glass) and Hobgood Park at 6688 Bells Ferry Road.
But there are other places as well. The City of Canton at 151 Elizabeth Street and the City of Holly Springs Fire Station at 100 Hickory Circle both take household recyclables. The gardener in me rejoices that Autumn Hill Nursery at 100 Pea Ridge Road takes black plastic plant trays. So does Griffin Greenhouse Supplies in Ball Ground, which also takes the black pots we accumulate so easily. How about electronic gadgetry you no longer need? Delphi Electronics at 107 Weatherstone Drive, Suite 540, Woodstock. Batteries? Check with Call2Recycle at 1 (877) 273-2925 for a drop-off location. They also have a cell phone recycle program. (I understand that BatteriesPlus at 9820 Hwy 92, Woodstock, takes all sorts of batteries, from cars to appliances to the standard alkalines. And they accept light bulbs.) What if you have sensitive documents to dispose of? There’s Georgia Document Destruction Inc. at 2295 Towne Lake Parkway or Shred 2 Go in Kennesaw. Or perhaps you have some big time materials to get rid of…scrap metal, gutters, window frames, appliances, copper wiring, piping, stainless steel, barbecue grills, junk cars, car batteries — even Christmas lights! Woodstock Recycling at 111 Dixie Drive will take all these and more. Or if you need on-site de-installation, try Premier Surplus at (770) 888-1227 in Cumming.
Polystyrene seems to be a consideration in itself. We daily use what is usually extruded polystyrene, popularly known by the Dow trademark Styrofoam. Most food service products fall into this category, though the carryout coffee cup belongs to the expanded polystyrene group known as EPS, as does most industrial packaging, such as the molded foam that surrounds, say, a new computer. You might consider Styro-Cyclers in Marietta for these items. Another friend contributes that much closer to home, Publix takes Styrofoam — and all those plastic bags you’ve collected — and even paper bags.
Checking Cherokee County’s recycling page, I was heartened to read, “For your convenience, Cherokee County now encourages single stream recycling. Single stream recycling allows residents to recycle cans, paper, plastic and glass products without the need to separate the recyclables.” That sounds good…but instructions are lacking. (The City of Canton states, “Place newspaper, magazines, telephone books, aluminum cans, advertising mail, corrugated cardboard, plastic soft drink, milk and water containers, together in the same bin.” Sounds like a plan. I have personally been over to the Holly Springs Fire Department, and their dumpsters say essentially the same thing.)
What about those really hard to dispose of items? The Cherokee website continues, “Cherokee County encourages residents to participate in Amnesty Day to recycle such items as paint, oil, and tires. Electronic recycling (computers, printers, televisions, cell phones, etc.) is also offered in partnership with the City of Canton in the Spring and at the administrative office facility at the Bluffs in the Fall. Dates to be announced. “ Watch your newspaper for details. The same site states that the City of Canton will accept residential grease — cooking oil, but not automotive. They suggest contacting your local automotive repair center for the latter.
Finally, a word about donations: books, clothing, and heaven knows what all. It seems there is absolutely no reason to throw much of anything away. Keep your eyes open for a collection bin every time you are out shopping!
Information about Extension Solutions for Homes and Gardens can be found on the UGA extension website, www.caes.uga.edu/extension/cherokee ; or contact the Cherokee County Extension Office, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Suite G49, Canton, GA, 30114, 770-721-7803. The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program is a volunteer training program offered through county offices of the UGA extension. Follow Cherokee County Master Gardeners on facebook at www.facebook.com/cherokeemastergardeners for gardening tips as well as upcoming seminars.