OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Utilities Department officials are asking community members to make their spring-cleaning projects eco-friendly in recognition of Earth Day on Friday.

Utilities officials provided the following recycling tips for an earth-conscious spring cleaning:

  1. Don’t recycle plastic bags or put your recycling inside a plastic bag
  2. No food
  3. Make sure all containers are empty, clean, and dry
  4. When in doubt, throw it out! Recycle only what’s listed on our website at okc.gov/recycle.

Oklahoma City residents recycled over 24,500 tons of recyclables in recycling facilities across the city, last year.

Community members are encouraged to recycle and to start simple by recycling cardboard, paper and aluminum cans.

“Every little bit adds up and helps divert recyclable materials away from our landfills, so we can prolong our landfill life for generations to come,” city officials said.

Visit okc.gov/recycle for more information on recycling.

Officials also provided these additional spring cleaning tips:

Try Composting! Raked leaves and grass clippings make a great base for any compost pile. Toss in some vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and other organic material, add water from time to time, stir frequently and let stew, and you’ll have a nutrient-rich soil additive in no time.

Mulch Your Grass Clippings. Toss dead leaves and grass clippings into your flower bed and till them in with existing soil. You can also let grass clippings rest on top of your lawn to create a moisture-absorbing mulch that will help add nutrients to feed your grass roots.

Return Meds Properly. Flushing medications, or pouring them down the drain, can impact our wastewater system, and cause microbes used in sewer treatment to not filter out contaminants as well as they should. Try returning medications to a local pharmacy or Sheriff’s office. You can find a drug disposal location at Drug Disposal – Safe. Pharmacy and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Check for Leaks. Basic household leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water annually. Perform a quick toilet leak check in your home by listening for running water, and/or performing a color drop test. Simply add a drop or two of food coloring to the toilet tank and wait ten minutes. If color ends up in the toilet bowl, you may have a silent leak. Try fixing or replacing the flapper or call a plumber if you need additional help. Other places to look include under each sink, and behind your dishwasher and/or washing machine.

Water Wisely. Wasteful watering practices are not only detrimental to our water supply but can cost you money. Make sure you water only what your grass needs, and check your sprinkler system for broken or missing heads, misdirected heads, or high pressure. All these practices can end up wasting thousands of gallons of water and can cause you to have a high water bill.