Monday, June 18, 2007

What To Do With Batteries

Batteries can no longer be recycled curbside.

I just called up the Mercer County Improvement Authority, and they confirmed that alkaline batteries are safe to put in the garbage. They had no suggestions about how to recycle them. As stated on Princeton Township's website (, rechargeable batteries can usually be recycled at your local Radio Shack or other similar store. For other sorts of batteries, you may want to consult the Mercer County website ( Our elementary school was collecting batteries for awhile--something to keep an eye out for.

Leave Grass Clippings On the Lawn!

If the borough ordinance forbids putting lawn clippings out on the road, why do the street crews keep taking them away? Good question. Even in a government bureaucracy as small as Princeton Borough, there are contradictions. Though street crews are showing a generous nature, the result is that neighbors imitate other neighbors, and soon the whole block is violating an ordinance intended to prevent high-nitrogen yardwaste from polluting the nearby creek via storm sewers.

Sometimes, it's a misinformed landscape business that is first on the block to dump illegally.

Word has it that the borough may eventually start fining homeowners who put grass clippings out on the road.

The Mercer County Master Gardeners recommend leaving grass clippings on the lawn ( If you don't, you're lawn loses valuable nitrogen that must then be replaced by buying more fertilizer. The worst thing to do with grass clippings is to pile them up. The high nitrogen and lack of aeration favor anaerobic bacteria that raise a stink if the pile is disturbed.

Meanwhile, in the township, it appears that there is no yardwaste pickup at all in June and August. More info can be found at