Kids Zone > Trash/Recycling


No one likes being around trash. It can be smelly, ugly, and overall just plain gross. So, cities step in and make sure the trash gets taken away so our streets, sidewalks, parks, and homes can be trash-free.

Kentucky cities spend over $130 million a year on solid waste collection services. The biggest cities usually operate their own solid waste collection, while smaller cities almost always use one or more private companies to collect trash in the city. Trash that cannot be recycled is taken to a landfill somewhere in the county or a neighboring one. Landfills essentially bury solid waste in the ground.

Some cities offer recylcling (see sidebar) as well as composting services. Recycling puts previously used materials (such as soda cans and newspapers) back into the economy to reduce demand for new resources. Most natural items (such as tree limbs and leaves) can be composted to break down into nutrient-rich mulch. That mulch is then spread throughout the city's landscaping and can even be given way to city residents. Both recycling and composting reduce the amount of waste put in landfills.

Cities also usually set out and maintain trash cans on certain city streets - usually those that are in the downtown area - and city parks. Be sure to recognize whether the bin is for trash for recyclable items. 

Turning Trash into Cash?

Recycling is good for the environment, and even good for the city. Only about one-third of Kentuckians recycle common household items, such as aluminum, cardbord, plastic, glass, and paper. Nearly half of Kentucky cities have curbside pickup of recylables - where a resident puts a recycle bin at the street and a truck comes to pick it up - and many others have recycle drop-off locations. Cities can make money of your recylables by selling these materials to producers looking for recycled contect. Every little bit helps!

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