Holiday Routines, Recycling, and Role Models

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in IRC Blog

Christmas and Hanukkah are both, among other things, times of hope and anticipation. New Years is seen as a time of renewal or resolution.

The season often brings a hope for peace and happiness.  Beyond the anticipation of gifts, we are also eager to share time with friends and family.  Our resolutions are most often directed at self-improvement.

We might also think of these themes of hope, anticipation and resolution to do better in terms of environmental stewardship.  But just like the more traditional holiday spirit, these acts of stewardship should not be solitary actions.  Part of what we do has to be directed toward spreading the good things, the noble thoughts, the beneficial actions.

Not everyone reads the Earth Matters columns or thinks that environmental concerns should be a priority.  Life’s complications (especially during the always hectic holiday season), can push environmental concerns very low on our priority lists.

So we should do all we can to bring these acts of stewardship into our everyday lives.  Make them routine.  Make them part of every day and every place.  And do what you can to spread the word and the enthusiasm.  More than a quarter of most communities are enthusiastic environmental advocates.  We have to find a way to spread that word and zeal to a broader portion of our neighbors.

Recycling – For the first time, a large portion of Blair County has access to widespread and convenient recycling for all kinds of boxes and paper gift wrap .  Curbside collection programs will accept wrapping paper with your newspapers, magazines and mixed paper, as well as cardboard and paperboard (including gift boxes). 

If someone doesn’t seem to be recycling over the holidays, politely ask them where their recycling bin might be, that you’ll be happy to get it for them.  If they live outside the curbside recycling communities, remind them that a Christmas wrapping drop-off will be at the Logan Valley Mall the two days right after Christmas from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Energy – Turn the heat back a few degrees when you head off for those holiday visits.  Flick the light off when you leave the room, not just at home but at work and on the road, too.  Don’t let the car idle for long periods and because of you that friend or coworker that hasn’t been paying attention to such matters might just start.

Conversation – When folks get together over the holidays, it gives them a chance to talk and enjoy each other’s company.  Conversations often turn to the state of the world or the place where we live.  The environment can often be one of the topics that arises.  When stodgy Uncle Bertram starts complaining that environmental protection efforts are a luxury we can’t afford, let him know that energy conservation and waste reduction have actually been good for business.

So this is a time to act.  Just as importantly it is a time to get others to act.  The holidays should not just be about presents, it should be about spreading good will and doing what we can to make our spot on the planet a better place in every way.

The IRC’s annual holiday wrapping recycling event is December 26-27 at the Logan Valley Mall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Live Christmas trees can recycled at the Altoona and Logan Township highway yards, Antis Compost Facility, the IRC Composting Facilities in Duncansville and Buckhorn. Hollidaysburg, Tyrone, and Martinsburg all offer curbside tree collection.  

2016 Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection A Success

Written by Katrina Pope. Posted in IRC Blog

 

The 14th annual Blair County household hazardous waste collection was held on July 8th and 9th.   This is the fourth year the Intermunicipal Relations Committee has hosted the event since the closure of the Blair County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling in 2012. The event continues to be a success with nearly 700 households and several small businesses participating.  The Lakemont Lions Club supported the event with volunteers and the Penn State Cooperative Extension supported the event with Mr. Yuk stickers for participating residents. 

 

The event collected over 88,000 lbs. of paint and hazardous waste.  Items accepted included: aerosols, antifreeze, automotive batteries, corrosive acids and bases, flammable liquids, solids and adhesives, fluorescent light bulbs, garden chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, used motor oil, oil-based paints, oil filters, paint solvents, organic peroxides, oxidizing liquids and solids, poisonous liquids and solids, pool chemicals, PCB ballast and capacitors, reactive and non-reactive chemicals and indeterminate chemicals. 

 

This is an annual event, and will not be hosted again in Blair County until summer 2017.  Residents who missed the event should visit IRCenvironment.org to determine if any of their hazardous waste is accepted at the IRC Buckhorn Recycling and Compost Facility on Blacksnake Road.  Information on how to dry out latex paint for disposal can also be found on the IRC’s website.  The event is co-sponsored by the IRC, PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Department of Agriculture and MXI of Virginia was the disposal contractor.

 

For more info visit ircenvironment.org, if you have questions or would like to volunteer at a future event please call 942-7472 or email   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

HHW Examples

Please remember... this was a two day only, annual event held on July 8th, and 9th of 2016.  The 2017 date has not been determined.  You can find instructions for handling latex paint here.  We cannot accept medications at this event, but you can take them to one of the permanent drop-offs.  

To better understand what is toxic or carcinogenic you can also check out these resources:

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