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August 30, 2012

It's a start

Messy shelvesMy goal today was to clear off a set of shelves in the basement that are an unholy mess of tools, nails, brackets, pieces of pipe, etc. Never got that far.

I started with the shelves next to my target, the ones you see here. Halfway through clearing the top shelf of those, a can of paint side-tracked me to yet another set of shelves loaded with paint cans of all sizes and ages.

That's where I spent the morning.

Below you'll see that after a couple of hours I had made progress, but more important is what you don't see. Before starting I had spent some time online learning how and where to dispose of what I didn't want.

Since a lot of home repair/maintenance chemicals are toxic, I looked up hazardous waste and found that in Cuyahoga County many cities have regular times to drop off household paint, solvents, pesticides, etc.

Schedules vary widely, from daily year-round (Olmsted Twp.) to once a year (Berea). Here's the list for all of Cuyahoga County.

Cleveland has year 'round drop-off on the first Friday of every month. I got a big plastic bin and moved unwanted nasty stuff into it as I sorted through the shelves. Next week I'll take it to the drop off site.


Other things that need to be properly recycled include Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and computers, radios, etc. You can take your dead CFLs to any Home Depot to dispose of properly. For computers and virtually everything else electronic the most convenient option is to take them to a Best Buy store. Here's a list of what they will and will not accept.

Best Buy and other organizations will accept your old cell phone too, but you may want to find a local location for Cellphones For Soldiers. This non-profit sells the phones to recyclers and uses the proceeds to buy phone cards to give to U.S. soldiers overseas. If there's no drop-off nearby you can download a free postage-paid mailing label.

Paint on shelves with labelsOh yeah, eventually, after all the googling, false starts and sorting, I actually ended up with one set of shelves that looked a little better than before.

My plan is to continue doing this for an hour or so each day until next Friday's hazardous materials drop off. We'll see how it goes.

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