Tallahasse to offer “Cash for Trash”

The spirit of spring-cleaning could earn Tallahassee residents money off of their utility bill.

Tallahassee’s biannual Cash for Trash day is scheduled for Saturday April 19, from 8a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tallahassee residents can participate in the program by bringing large trash items that won’t fit into their 96-gallon waste containers to the Solid Waste Services facility at 2727 Municipal Way.

To receive the $5 coupon, City of Tallahassee utilities customers must present a city utility bill before unloading any materials. Customers are allowed to make as many trips as necessary, however only one discount coupon per customer will be given.

This is set-up so customers wanting to help their neighbors get rid of trash can still reap the rewards of the $5 coupon in the Cash for Trash program.

Rita Taylor has worked as the Administrative Services Manager for Solid Waste Services for the last seven years.

“The City of Tallahassee was named the No. 1 public utilities in America,” Taylor said. “The city is very assertive about promoting services to our citizens that provide convenient ways for us all to help keep our city both beautiful and environmentally friendly.”

Large items that can be disposed of include old furniture and household appliances, such as refrigerators or dishwashers, large toys, bicycles and old tires, with a limit of four tires per customer.

Electronic items will also be accepted, including televisions, stereos and computer parts for disposal or recycling.

In addition to large items, residents can also bring any hazardous waste products, such as paint, batteries and used motor oil.

Rod Hightower, operations manager for the city’s Solid Waste Service, said the program provides an effective resource for the environment.

“The program is highly effective in controlling the illegal dumping of hazardous waste and tires,” Hightower said. “By allowing them to dispose of them properly where they can be recycled or reused.”

Hightower added that “tires and hazardous waste products are the items most often found to be illegally dumped, with hazardous liquids being the most detrimental to our health and environment.”

City and solid waste officials encourage residential utility customers to make use of the ongoing every-other-week collection service for disposal of large items at the curbside.

Heather Teter, a public service specialist with the city of Tallahassee, said college students could make great use of this program.

“If you are a student or live in an apartment, we can help our customers dispose of and recycle their bulky items,” Teter said.

There are some exceptions to the type of items allowed. No regular household garbage, no yard waste and no construction or yard waste can be accepted.

For Leon County residents who live outside of the city limits, the Leon County Public Works also holds events similar to the city’s Cash for Trash program. The county hazardous waste and electronics collection event’s location is at 2280 Miccosukee Road.

The collaborative effort from the city and county from September 2012 to May 2013 season was very successful. Nearly 11,000 residents brought the centers over 439 tons of potentially hazardous waste, with over 277 tons (66 percent) being recycled or reused.

Lynn Freeman, a retired Leon County resident, recently participated in the program and is glad the city offers this service for free.

“It’s a good program,” Freeman said. “We have taken old stuff, used oil and tires before, and you usually have to pay to get rid of it.”