Going Garbage on The Dos and Don’ts of Recycling

Going Garbage celebrated the start of their 45th year as a family-run business April 1, and in that time they’ve witnessed a startling evolution in waste management.

Today, Christi Decker, who co-owns the business with her husband Jeff Johnson, says the evolution continues. Where once recycling was largely relegated to newspapers and aluminum cans, managing waste has now become a multi-faceted affair, with the onslaught of the technological revolution necessitating a new round of education for recyclers.

“We see a lot of televisions, computers, and other e-waste in the trash, and that should all be recycled,” Decker said. Such E-waste can be hazardous if not disposed of properly, making it especially critical that citizens learn how to get rid of their old products. Decker said old monitors, CPUs, keyboards, printers and other select equipment can all be brought to Going Garbage sites.

Overall, recycling practices are getting better in the county.

“The quantity being diverted from the landfills and into recycling is continuing to go up,” Johnson said, though there’s a general increase in waste as well.

Since throwing garbage in with recycling, or including the wrong plastics or glass in with your commingled dumpsters, can taint a load and waste the efforts of others to recycle, it’s imperative people keep up on guidelines.

“Read the recycling information that’s available, follow the guidelines, and be responsible with your waste,” Johnson said.

• A few tips to guide your recycling efforts:


Going only accepts plastics #1 and #2 for commingled recycling. These must be a gallon or less in size, and must have a mouth smaller in diameter than the base. That takes most restaurant to-go containers out of the pool. Items must be rinsed and lids and caps removed.

Plastic bags

Going Garbage doesn’t recycle these, but you can bring them to the Sister Bay Piggly Wiggly.

Waste Oil

Must be dropped off in non-returnable containers with sealed caps.


Must be brought in without rims and the inside cleaned out.


All paper and cardboard must be flattened, dry, and free of food debris and restroom waste. That means no pizza boxes or rounds (but these can be composted instead). Envelopes with plastic windows are recyclable.

Paper with pressure sensitive adhesives, such as the sticky substances found on post-it notes, mailing labels, and stamps, present a problem for recyclers, so use an alternative when possible. See

Cell Phones

HELP of Door County collects them, giving newer ones to clients and sending others to a company that refurbishes the phones and pays HELP for them. The organization also collects ink cartridges. Call 920.743.8785.

Light Bulbs, fixtures and computers

Sturgeon Bay Utilities collects these four times a year at a per-pound cost to you. 920.746.2820.

• Even better than recycling products is giving them a second life by finding an organization or people who will put your old goods to use. Below are a number of options for extending the life of your old stuff.

Clothing, household items, and working electronics

These can all be brought to the county’s many second-hand stores and resale shops.

– Mathew House, Egg Harbor. 920.868.2731

– Feed My People/ Clothe My People 920.743.9053

– Bargains Unlimited, Sister Bay, 920.854.9669

– Hispanic Group, 920.743.0192

– Sunshine House, Sturgeon Bay, 920.743.7943

Walkers, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment

Neighbor to Neighbor accepts these and lends them free of charge to those in need. 920.743.7800 or

For other places to bring items see the Door County Visitor Bureau’s extensive “Wish List” for non-profits at

Go Run & Recycle

Going Garbage, The Door County Half Marathon, and the Peninsula Pulse are sponsoring an effort to breath new life into your old running shoes and sneakers. Drop your worn-out running shoes and sneakers to drop-boxes located at the following locations for recycling on or before May 10, 2008.

•Going Garbage & Recycling, 10564 Old Stage Rd., Sister Bay

•Peninsula Pulse office, 10331 Hwy 42, Ephraim

•Booth at the Door County Half Marathon starting line on race day, May 3 at Peninsula State Park.

Shoes collected will be remanufactured by a recycling company using a patented process to grind the shoes and turn them into sorbent material for oil spill cleanup kits. Please continue to donate gently used shoes to local resale shops or charities.