Fall Cleanout

by Josh on October 3, 2011 · 3 comments

in Journal

Fall is the perfect time to clear the shelves of anything worn-out, used-up or useless and prepare for a few months of inside-only projects. I recently hauled away a car load of hazardous and irregularly recyclable waste that had accumulated in my workshop, including:

tech waste

old cellphones, chargers, cables and other recyclable electronic waste; (check out that old silver Ericsson–rockin’ bluetooth back in the day– and Ms. Bungalow’s favorite red Moto slider.)

fluorescent waste

fluorescent light bulbs, ballasted and unballasted;

aerosol waste

aerosol cans, solvents, and stains;

paint waste

and lots of old left-over paint.

We inherited a whole shelving unit of paint when we bought the house seven years ago. I held onto the paint for a time thinking it could be helpful for touch-ups or small jobs. Now the paint is old enough that I decided to just recycle anything that has lived here longer than me.

If you decide to do your own fall cleanout, check your local options for disposal and recycling of hazardous waste. Our waste program is very good here, so it was free for me to get rid of all of these items when I brought them to a county processing facility. (With the exception of the tire in the top of the paint can picture– that cost me $3.) Even if it costs a small fee, proper disposal and recycling of this kind of material keeps harmful mercury, lead, solvents and other nastys out of the ground and away from drinking water sources.


Cleaning out household hazardous waste = good homeowner.

Proper disposal of hazardous waste = good citizen.  

So be a good citizen when you clean out your workshops, fellow DIYers.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike @HA October 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Yeah! Did you go to the hazardous waste center in Bloomington? We brought a bunch of stuff there last fall when we cleaned out our garage. I’m still holding on to the all the paint the previous owners left us, though we’ve painted almost every wall so these cans aren’t even good for touch ups…


Josh October 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

You got it, Mike. Can you believe it was my first time going there? It was definitely time for a disposal run.


statia October 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Our local grocery store has a cell phone recycling bin, which is really awesome. Right now, our kids are really into playing with our old cell phones. As for old pain, I was told that if you fill the paint can with kitty litter, to absorb the paint, you can toss it into the trash. I too have a lot of paint. I should mix the colors together to make some sort of project.


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