If the cold weather’s keeping you indoors, you can do some midwinter cleaning. Amy Horst with Metro Waste Authority says the household hazardous waste from your basement or garage can’t go to the local landfill, but collection centers like the one in Polk County will take the pesticide, paint or other toxic trash off your hands and might even make use of them.
They’ll recycle or dispose of it properly, but they also have an exchange program. Anybody interested in coming out to the "Swap Shop" can pick out leftover paint, yard chemicals or other substances they might be able to use. She suggests you can also find a friend or neighbor to swap with, if they can use your leftovers.
It beats the heck out of just pouring it down the drain, she says, or over-fertilizing your yard just to use up the chemicals. Horst says right now in midwinter people have the time at home to get a good start on that cleaning. Many communities hold one or more household hazardous waste collection events that will let you drop off those items you’re sorting out, so even if there isn’t a year-round collection point you can dispose of them safely.