DEP Offers Tips on Disposing Trash in Aftermath of Irene

Recycling truck in Canberra, ACTImage via Wikipedia

(11/P108) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection expects a large volume of trash to be generated in areas affected by the recent flooding, which could result in disruptions to normal trash collection schedules. The DEP offers the following tips to help residents manage trash and expedite trash collection:

* Place food waste, disposable diapers and other wet waste into double plastic bags for better storage if collection is delayed.  Add a capful of ammonia to reduce odors that could attract animals and other vermin. Secure the bags tightly and store in a cool place.

* Separate and store recyclable materials for disposal at a later time. Store non-recyclable paper, containers, packaging and other dry waste indoors and away from sources of combustion.

* Store paint, thinners, insecticides, herbicides, and fluorescent light bulbs until county household hazardous waste collection days. Make sure these materials are stored away from children.

* Do not place TVs, computers or computer monitors in the trash. These items can be taken to designated electronic waste collection points at a later date.

* Dispose of larger, bulky non-food items at a later time, if possible.

* Those not affected by the flooding should delay any major household cleanups such as backyard cleanup, tree pruning or disposal of old furniture or any other projects that will generate a large amount of waste.

* Avoid the use of disposable products such as paper or plastic plates, cups or disposable diapers.

* As much as possible, reuse products such as plastic containers, jars and aluminum foil.

* Compost vegetative and yard wastes if conditions permit.

* Use caution with wet carpeting, upholstery and other porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours. Growth of molds on these items may be a health risk to some people. For more information on protecting yourself from mold, go to

For detailed information on trash collection schedules and disposal requirements, contact your local public works department.

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