By Anna Dunbar
I occasionally hear some folks express disappointment about recycling options in Waco. I find this surprising and I want to challenge that thought with some ideas about what each of us can do to reduce waste that goes to the landfill.
If you want to reduce your waste in and around Waco, here are some suggestions to try:
Curbside Recycling: Waco residents can get 1 or 2 blue carts for curbside recycling and 1 or 2 green yard waste carts (effective October 1) for no extra fee. Please call (254) 299-2612 with questions or to request a blue or green cart on Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM. Para informacion en Espanol: (254) 299-2612. You can also go to waco-texas.com and complete a request form. On the website you will find information about the recycling program including a calendar with “blue cart weeks” and “green cart weeks”. You can also request a printed calendar be mailed to you.
Drop-off Recycling: Anyone from anywhere can visit the Cobbs Convenience Center to recycle. You can bring the following items at no charge regardless of residency. Please rinse items which have contained food or drink.
- Plastics #1 and #2. Due to changes in the plastics market, lightweight plastics such as fresh strawberry containers and plastic cups, and are not being recycled by Sunbright Recycling. We cannot accept Styrofoam for recycling.
- Glass bottles and jars, clear, brown, blue and green.
- Metal, including steel or “tin” cans, aluminum cans, and aluminum pie plates.
- Paper, such as magazines, phone books, cardboard, junk mail, printer paper, envelopes with windows and stapled paper.
- Cooking oil (liquid only, please no solid grease)
- Household batteries and “curly bulbs”.
Drop-off recycling for Waco residents only: scrap tires (fee), appliances with Freon (fee), latex paint, used oil, antifreeze, oil filters and electronics can be taken to the Cobbs Recycling Center. Some items may have a fee. In addition, many electronics (except TV’s) can go to Goodwill. Best Buy accepts electronics for recycling from anyone; Best Buy will charge a fee for electronics with glass, such as TVs and monitors.
Organic waste: Become a part of the “blue bucket brigade” and divert your organic waste from the landfill! Mission Waco is asking for food waste for composting and is making buckets available for the process. One can obtain a blue bucket at the greenhouse, located on the corner of North 15th Street and Colcord Avenue, next to Jubilee Food Market. Instructions are available to help you with diversion of your organics for composting.
Landfill: If you are not a Waco resident, you can take appliances with Freon to the Waco landfill; there will be a $15 per appliance fee. You can also take clean brush for grinding and diversion from landfill disposal. You will pay a tipping fee according to weight.
Building Materials: The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Waco takes used and new building materials. All donations must be in excellent physical and working condition whether new or gently used. ReStore is located at 1224 Franklin Ave in Waco and normal business hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-3pm. Please drive to the back of the store where you will find the donation receiving area. Please check beforehand to be sure your donation will be accepted https://wacohabitat.org/contact-us/
Batteries and bulbs: Batteries Plus Bulbs on Waco Drive offers recycling of all kinds of batteries and bulbs. There may be a fee for some services.
Latex paint: If the paint is completely dry, it can be put in your trash. If you’d like to dry it out quickly, try kitty litter, mulch or sawdust. You can also purchase a paint dry product on-line.
Household Hazardous Waste: The cities of Hewitt, Lacy Lakeview, Waco and Woodway have held joint hazardous waste days in the past. There will tentatively be a Household Hazardous Waste Day in the spring of 2020. In the meantime, keep your unwanted materials in a safe place, preferably in the original containers. Leaking containers can be put in a second, larger container, then surrounded by kitty litter. Keep all materials out of the reach of pets and children.
School supplies or teacher supplies: Keep Waco Beautiful has a wonderful teacher’s closet for teachers to “shop” for no charge. Keep Waco Beautiful accepts donations of usable items. Just call (254) 339-1077 or email [email protected]
Tools: there is a new opportunity at the Tool Shed, a thrift shop that benefits Friends for Life. It is located at 430 Lake Air Drive. The store accepts new, used or broken tools for resale at a greatly discounted price. The store can also arrange pick-up of donations if needed.
Still have questions? I am happy to assist you. Please contact me at [email protected] or (254) 299-2612. Thank YOU for keeping Waco clean and green!
Anna Dunbar is the Solid Waste Administrator for the City of Waco Solid Waste Services. She is responsible for informing Waco residents and businesses about recycling and waste reduction opportunities as well as solid waste services in Waco. Her husband is a Baylor professor and her daughter is a Baylor University alum who works at Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. Anna is an active member of Keep Waco Beautiful and The Central Texas Audubon Society.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.