DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The aftermath of July 4th fireworks can create a pile of cardboard boxes and packages inside homes.
While cardboard is an approved item for recycling in Okaloosa County, cardboard relating to fireworks is not.
Waste Management, the leading trash service for Northwest Florida said cardboard with lining can not be recycled, similar to pizza boxes. Tubes and boxes relating to fireworks contain a metal lining that can’t be processed at a recycling plant.
Other decorations and boxes without liners can be recycled. Plastic wrap and plastic bags are not recyclable. The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority in Pensacola said people need to take care of fireworks and flares in a specific way before tossing them in the trash can.
“Soak any unused fireworks (including Duds) in a bucket of water for at least 15 minutes before draining, bagging, and putting in your trash can,” according to the ECUA. To see a list of recyclable items, click the link here.
Firework retailer TNT said residents should ask their local fire department for specific recycling questions relating to fireworks. With the let your fireworks take a bath campaign, TNT has tips for firework waste and how to conserve water in the process.
“Instead of draining your tub, scoop out a large bucket of water and use it to soak your used fireworks this Fourth of July. Or, if you are more of a shower person, you can place a bucket in your shower to catch extra water,” said Carson Anderson, president of TNT Fireworks.
When your show is over, and the fireworks have cooled, completely submerge them in a large bucket of water and soak until thoroughly saturated. Smaller used fireworks should take a bath for at least an hour, while larger ones need to soak as long as overnight.
For many, barbeques and backyard fireworks are a family tradition. TNT Fireworks promotes three key messages to ensure your 4th of July celebration is a safe and responsible one:
Be Safe: Be selective when choosing a location to use fireworks. The agreed upon safest place to set off state-approved fireworks is a dry, flat surface such as concrete, dirt or pavement away from structures, dry grass or trees. Always read and follow instructions on each state-approved firework.
Stay Legal: Observe local firework laws and use good common sense.
Act Responsibly: Have a sober adult present and handling your display. Be considerate of noise concerns for neighbors and pets. Have a hose ready and ‘Let Your Fireworks Take a Bath!’ in a bucket of water overnight after you have finished your display. Then clean up your display area!Let Your Fireworks Take a Bath Campaign, TNT
More about Recycling in Northwest Florida
Waste Management said recycled materials are not being taken to ECUA in Pensacola currently due to a part error. Recycling from Okaloosa County is routed to Montgomery for processing at RePower South.
Waste Management is working to build a new processing plant in Fort Walton Beach for Okaloosa County collection.