Saturday, February 07, 2009

Blue Bin News - St. Louis City Residential Recycling Newsletter Issue #15

City of St. Louis Recycling Program Blue Bin News St. Louis City Residential Recycling Newsletter Issue #15 A PDF version of the February issue of Blue Bin News. In this issue: DIGITAL TV TO LEAVE ANALOG BURIED IN SNOW UPCOMING EVENTS SUSTAINABLE YOUTUBE CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS WITHOUT SPENDING HARD EARNED DOUBLOONS MERCURY DISPOSAL FOR February READER SUBMISSIONS WELCOME DIGITAL TV TO LEAVE ANALOG BURIED IN SNOW The end of analog television is near. Will you be affected by the transition that will take place on February17, 2009? If your household subscribes to cable or satellite services, you should not experience any problems during the switch, regardless of the type or age of your television. Only TVs that use antennas and do not have a built-in digital tuner, will be affected by the change. Go to and click on “Is Your TV a DTV?” to find out if your television has a digital tuner. If you do not subscribe to cable or satellite services AND your TV does not contain a built-in digital tuner, your options for accessing broadcast television include: * REDUCING - Instead of buying multiple converter boxes or replacing every TV in the house, buy one box or one TV. The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day or 28 hours per week. That adds up to 2 months of nonstop television per year. If you live to the age of 65, you will have spent over 9 years of your life watching TV. Use the digital transition as an opportunity to reduce the number of TVs you own. * REDUCING - Subscribe to cable or satellite (then you won’t need to buy a TV or converter box). * REUSING - Upgrade your existing TV with a converter box. Request up to two (2) converter box coupons at * RECYCLING - If you choose to replace your TV with a new one, consider recycling your old one at a local electronics recycling facility. TVs, as well as other electronics, are composed of a variety of materials that could be hazardous and cause harm if released into the environment. For example, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in TVs contain an average of 4 to 8 pounds of lead. If improperly handled or disposed of, these toxins can be released into the environment. Find an electronics recycler near you at * ADDITIONAL OPTION - Purchase a TV with a built-in digital tuner. UPCOMING EVENTS Thursday, February 12, 2009 Native Landscaping Part 1: Planning & Design 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Shaw Nature Reserve Tuesday, February 17, 2009 St. Louis Green Drinks 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Avenue Thursday, February 19, 2009 Home Composting Made Easy Class 6:00 pm - 6:50 pm Landscape & Garden with Native Plants Class 7:00 pm - 7:50 pm Bevo-Long Community Education Center To sign up, call 314.353.1034 Friday, February 20, 2009 Mystic Green Mardi Gras Ball 7:30 pm - 12:30 am St. Louis Casaloma Ballroom Saturday, February 21, 2009 Swap-O-Rama-Rama 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm Missouri History Museum SUSTAINABLE YOUTUBE, an online community for sustainable living, has issued a global call for personal green solutions. The Just Do One organization invites ideas for more sustainable living summarized in short YouTube-style videos. The organization will share the entries online, and the best video entry, as judged by an expert panel, will win $5,000. Video entries may be up to three minutes in length. Entries will be accepted from January 1 to March 1, 2009. Winners will be announced April 1, 2009, in time for media coverage leading up to Earth Day. CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS WITHOUT SPENDING HARD EARNED DOUBLOONS Mardi Gras decorations and costumes can put a dent in your pocket. So, how can you celebrate the festivities without breaking the bank? Make your own decorations and costumes using materials already lying around the house. Not only will you put these items to use, you will have made unique creations for everyone to enjoy. Below are some ideas to help you get into the Mardi Gras spirit. MARDI GRAS MASKS Supplies: Chipboard (e.g., dry food boxes), glue, string, scissors, buttons, ribbon, fabric, beads, colored paper, or anything else you want to use for decoration. 1. Draw a mask shape onto the chipboard (or trace from a template) and cut out the mask. 2. Attach the decorative items you’ve chosen to the mask using glue or a glue gun. 3. Punch a hole in each side and attach string. BEADED STREAMERS & CURTAINS Supplies: Green, purple, and gold strands of beads, hammer, and nails. 1. Lay one strand of beads on a flat surface. 2. Lay a second strand of beads over top of the first strand so that the bottom of strand one and the top of strand two overlap. 3. Pull the bottom of strand one over the top of strand two and slide under the top of the strand one. Pull until a knot forms connecting the two strands. 4. Repeat until you achieve your desired length. 5. Hang the beads on walls using a hammer and nails. Or, attach them to a board or a string and hang above a doorway. MERCURY DISPOSAL FOR FEBRUARY The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is launching a month-long effort in February to rid homes of mercury, with nearly 90 mercury drop-off locations throughout the state, including seven in the St. Louis region. Any private citizen or nonprofit agency can leave mercury-containing instruments, like thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches, at any of these sites. The program does not include compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Visit to learn how to recycle CFLs. Before dropping off mercury items, secure the item in two zip top bags and then place in a sealed container (such as a coffee can or plastic margarine tub). The extra packaging is required to prevent the release of mercury if the item breaks during transportation. Anyone who is uncomfortable with transporting mercury instruments, or who has large quantities of mercury, can contact the department’s spill line at 573.634.2436 to arrange to have items picked up. A total of seven facilities in the St. Louis area are participating in the mercury drop-off program. Within the City of St. Louis, these materials will be accepted at the City of St. Louis Health Department, Bureau of Environmental Health Services, 634 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, 314-612-5300 (call for hours, never leave items if the facility is closed). For more details, visit READER SUBMISSIONS WELCOME The Recycling Program invites you to submit material for this monthly newsletter. Would you like to share your “how to” tips, upcoming events, or something else related to residential waste management? Feel Free to e-mail us at We look forward to hearing from you! TO SUBSCRIBE Would you or anyone you know (e.g., family, friends, community leaders) like to receive Blue Bin News? Feel free to contact us at or 353.8877 to be added to our e-mailing list for this free publication.

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