GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – If one of your goals this new year is be more organized, you're likely ready to start fresh and de-clutter old stuff that's been sitting around. Unfortunately, you can't just put it all out on the curb for the garbage truck.
Nate Berg from Scene Clean stopped by KARE Saturday with safe, earth-friendly ways to dispose of the unwanted junk.
Here are Nate's tips for disposing of some of the items that you can't throw in your trash bin:
Electronics: Did you know? Many electronics contain potent chemicals like mercury, lead and cadmium, among others. Many computer recycling and TV disposal services will come pick up your old electronics and properly dispose or recycle their contents.
Hazardous chemicals: Automotive fluids, strong cleaning agents, pesticides, paints and solvents. Although it may seem like a small amount of toxic waste, in aggregate, these liquid-based substances will slither their way through the innards of landfills and contaminate water supplies. If you live in the Twin Cities, visit Rethink Recycling to locate a nearby facility for proper disposal.
Old appliances: Be cautious with refrigerators as they contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These greenhouse gases deteriorate ozone and promote global climate change. Check out Craig's List: you can sometimes find scrapers who will come and remove these items for free as well, especially if you have a pile of stuff.
Big, bulky items: Most cities enforce laws around leaving large, bulky items out for the garbage men to pick-up. That simple 10-second walk down the driveway with your mattress could cost you a stiff fine. Know your city's ordinances before you leave these items for the trash man.