Recycling, Redemption, Reuse
Do you know of other resources that could be added to this list? Or any information that could be updated? Please share!
how to recycle plastic containers, paper/cardboard, cans
Although most plastics bear the triangular "chasing arrows" recycling code, only #1 and #2 plastics (e.g., water, soda, and milk bottles; peanut butter jars; shampoo bottles) are actually recycled.
Solo cups, yogurt containers, squeezable bottles, pharmacy bottles, and other #3–7 plastics end up in landfills, even when collected for recycling. The promise of recycling these materials has been exposed as false marketing: "a half-century campaign of deception" by the fossil fuel industry. Thanks to a California law effective in 2024, labeling may soon more accurately reflect recyclability.
- Oneonta Street Department [115 Jack Fendley Dr, 205-274-2150] accepts #1–2 plastics, paper of all types, aluminum cans, and tin cans. Items must be free of food residue. Drop off on Thursdays from 7 am to 6 pm.
- Hayden Transfer Station [2390 Armstrong Loop, 205-505-0150] accepts #1–2 plastics, paper, and cardboard. See website for hours.
- Birmingham Recycling & Recovery [9 41st St, 205-591-8201] accepts #1–2 plastics, paper of all types (except phone books), and metal cans (aluminum, steel, tin). Drop off M-F from 7 am to 3:30 pm.
- Target accepts small quantities of glass, plastic, and aluminum, as well as plastic bags, MP3 players, cellphones, and ink cartridges. Publix accepts clean paper, cardboard, and plastic bags.
- Pinson City Hall accepts paper and cardboard for recycling. Drop off anytime at the marked dumpster at 4410 Main St.
- Springville Recycle Center is no longer available, according to a call to the fire department on Jan. 6, 2023, though aluminum cans can still be recycled there (details below).
how to recycle or sell metal, appliances, ELECTRONICS
Scrap metal, appliances, and electronics (anything with a cord or battery) can also be reclaimed. Clean up your property, clear out your basement, and contribute toward significant environmental benefits.
- Free pickup of metals, appliances, and electronics may be available from Americans for America Scrappers LLC. See details.
- If you'd like to sell your scrap, Cross Metals [SR-75 in Remlap, 205-681-5355] accepts metals. Recycle USA [off SR-79 in Pinson, 205-680-4589] buys aluminum cans and other metal, appliances, and electronics. Angler Recycling [Odenville, 205-629-2200; Warrior, 205-590-7000] accepts metals, electronics, and car parts, and may be able to provide vehicle removal.
- Trish advised that bagged aluminum cans can be brought to the bin at Springville Fire Department [200 Walker Dr] anytime, with proceeds supporting spay/neuter programs. Thank you, Trish!
how to recycle & reuse mIscellaneous items
- Plastic bags, plastic bubble mailers, poly mailers, bubble wrap, air pillows, most food/product packaging, zip-top food storage bags, plastic wrap, and other soft plastics are accepted at many grocery stores, including some locations of Walmart, Target, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and Kohl's. Plastics should be clean with paper labels removed. Details here.
- Glass is accepted at Target in small quantities. Another option is to reuse jars and bottles to hold pens, small items, food, or flowers; as a cloche to protect seedlings; or for candles or other crafts.
- All types of batteries can be scrapped. Rechargeable batteries and cell phones are collected by Target and Lowe's, EcoATM inside Oneonta and Trussville Walmarts, and at some Home Depot locations. Ink cartriges are recyclable at Target.
- Large pieces of styrofoam, such as used to pack appliances, can be brought to Parcels Too in Trussville for reuse. Publix accepts clean foam cups and take-out containers.
- Building materials and household items, including furniture, working appliances, windows, cabinets, and flooring, can be donated to the Habitat ReStore in Irondale.
- Paint is not accepted by thrift stores or the Habitat ReStore, but may be useful to a neighbor, Scouts, local organization, or theater group. To dispose of latex paint, Lowe's advice is to combine it with an equal amount of cat litter and allow to fully dry. Oil-based paint and aerosols are considered hazardous waste, but when I asked Blount Co. about disposal, I was told that they can just be thrown away or taken to a landfill.
- Incandescent or halogen lightbulbs can be safely thrown away. Other types contain hazardous materials; please protect our groundwater from toxins by disposing/recycling properly, such as by taking CFLs to Home Depot or Lowe's. Some Home Depot locations also accept LEDs and fluorescent tubes.
- Motor oil and car batteries may be accepted at AutoZone, other auto parts stores, and auto repair shops. Some tire shops and landfills accept tires for a $10 fee.
- Keep medications out of the water supply and away from misuse by bringing to the disposal box in front of Oneonta Fire Department, available any time. For other options, search this DEA website.
- Egg cartons are appreciated by our neighbors who keep hens.
- Planter pots and cases are accepted at Lowe's Garden Center.
[Information prepared by Kristin Yarbrough; last updated Jan. 8, 2023.]