News Flash


Posted on: May 14, 2021

Sustainable Spring Cleaning Guide

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and those household spring cleaning tasks are calling your name. While purging closets, tending to the garden and sprucing up your home for the new season, it’s important to keep a conscious tab on how the materials you discard could potentially impact the environment.

 When materials like old clothes or cleaning supplies are simply tossed out, they are sent to the landfill. There are several alternatives to discarding materials in the trash that are easy to implement and can have a positive impact on not only the environment, but the local economy, too. 

 To help you tackle this season’s spring cleaning regimen in your home, SWACO has compiled sustainable tips to make sure you’re a pro when it comes to making environmentally-friendly cleaning choices. 

 To start, one simple way to have a positive impact on your local community while achieving your spring cleaning goals includes donating reusable items: 

  • Clothing and Textiles: While you may be eager to get rid of old clothes and update your wardrobe with this season’s newest trends, simply tossing gently used t-shirts or pants in the garbage will end with them in the landfill. Instead, an alternative solution is to donate used clothing to local organizations. Clothes and linens do not have to be in perfect condition to be accepted by most donation centers. Goodwill, for example, will accept items with holes or significant wear and recycle into rags. However, items should be clean, as heavily soiled materials may not be accepted. 
  • Useable Furniture: Are you finally upgrading your backyard patio to enjoy family cookouts? While you may opt to set old furniture at the curb for trash day, there are sustainable solutions to make sure it doesn’t end up in the landfill. Useable furniture (intact, functioning furniture) may be donated to a large number of charitable organizations in Franklin County, and some may even be able to pick up the furniture from your home!
  • Appliances: Many household appliances can be donated or recycled, including large appliances like washers and dryers, refrigerators and stoves, and small appliances such as toasters, blenders, and vacuum cleaners. If purchasing a new large appliance, it’s a good idea to check to see whether the company will collect your old appliance for recycling when delivering a new item, which is a quick way to take the old appliance off your hands. If you need an alternative option, carefully read an accepting entity’s website and call ahead before making a trip! 

While updating landscaping and practicing your green thumb in the garden, keep in mind sustainable ways to discard of yard waste and organics:  

  • Yard Waste: Most communities offer residential curbside collection of yard waste which you can simply collect and leave at your curb for pick up. Franklin County’s curbside program accepts: leaves, grass clippings, shrubs, weeds and brush and twigs. Yard waste can also be dropped off at a participating local business or easily composted at home. 
  • Compost: Backyard composting is also an option for residents who want an easy and inexpensive way to reduce waste and create nutrient rich compost for their lawns, gardens and house plants. Gather food scraps like apple cores, egg shells and coffee grounds along with grass clippings, leaves and brush to get started and then download our easy-to-use Compost at Home Guide to take your next steps.  

Something many people aren’t aware of is how to properly discard of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). Cleaning products, spray paints, motor oils like gasoline and batteries can each negatively impact the environment if not properly discarded.  

  • Utilize HHW drop-off events: When emptying out medicine cabinets or discarding of old batteries from the junk drawer, be sure to keep in mind how to properly discard of HHW items. SWACO helps facilitate HHW drop-off events throughout Central Ohio, and some household cleaning supplies are even accepted.  

Kick off the spring season by keeping these tips in mind and supporting us in our commitment to recycling, reducing and reusing. Every little effort adds up and makes a big difference for our environment and our community. Happy spring cleaning! 

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