Recently, there was a fire in the recycling roll-off container in Akeley.

The fire was likely due to contamination in the container, which caused a chemical reaction. This can occur when unacceptable materials are placed in the recycling container.

Due to this event, this would be a great time to freshen up on what should and shouldn’t go into a roll-off recycling container or recycling shed.

There are many items that are recyclable and are accepted at the sheds and roll-off container sites. These items include cardboard, newspapers, magazines, phonebooks, junk mail and office paper.

Other items include cans (aluminum, steel, and tin), glass, and #1 and #2 plastic. These items are all accepted at the recycling sheds and roll-off containers across the county.

Remember to always double check if you are unsure if an item can or cannot be accepted.

If possible, do not put your recyclables in a plastic bag.

You can also bring all recyclable materials to either of the transfer stations.

If you have plastic grocery bags that you wish to recycle, they are accepted at either Coborn’s or Walmart in Park Rapids.

While there are many items that can be recycled at either the sheds or roll-off containers, there are still many items that should be taken to either one of the transfer stations or thrown away in the trash.

Electronics, such as televisions, printers, cell phones, and computers, and/or appliances can be dropped off at either transfer station for free from all residents in the county.

Rechargeable and button batteries can be brought to either transfer station as well, and with button batteries, please make sure you tape both sides.

Automobile and lead acid (marine) batteries should be turned in where the new battery is purchased or they can be dropped off at either transfer station.

When you bring in electronics, or rechargeable, button or lead acid batteries, make sure they are placed in the designated areas or inquire with staff if you’re unsure where to place them. Rechargeable and lithium ion batteries must not be placed with regular household trash.

Another cause for contamination at the recycling sites is trash. Please bring your residential waste to either transfer station, or you can choose to get garbage hauled by hiring a licensed garbage hauler.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is another item that should stay out of the recycling sheds or roll-off containers and be brought to the transfer stations. HHW can cause a chemical reaction with other contaminants and cause issues in the shed or container.

Staff goes through HHW once it reaches the transfer stations, and if HHW, such as paint, is still usable, staff will place it on the shelf for other residents to take and reuse for no charge.

Always be diligent with recycling and throwing away waste.

Be careful what you put in the recycling sheds and containers to help prevent further incidents from occurring.

If you have any questions, please call (218) 237-1460 or (218) 732-1468. You can also visit our website at www.co.hubbard.mn.us/waste.

Kalyn Kopacek is Hubbard County’s Minnesota GreenCorps volunteer.