Go Green

As the planet, nation, cities and households go GREENER, we here in the City of St. Matthews want to help lead the way. From our inclusive curb side recycling program, to our water filtering and restoration in middle fork streams, or our more energy efficient city hall, we are helping to keep the city more GREEN

Animals                                              Fertilizers / Pesticides                       Shipping Materials

Around the House                           Home Improvements                         Storm Water

Around the Yard                              In the Neighborhood                          Vehicle Maintenance

Animals: Pick up after your pets. It’s everywhere: parkways, recreation areas, and sometimes even in our own yards. Pet waste may not be pleasant to deal with, but it is crucial that we dispose of it correctly. Don’t let the rain wash their waste into our waterways. Bacteria and parasites in pet waste threaten the health not only of wildlife but of humans as well. Nutrients found in the waste may also cause excess weed and algae growth.

Dog Poop: When ridding your yard or sidewalk of dog waste, be sure to place it in a sealed bag. When walking your dog, always take along a disposable bag ( plastic newspaper bags, bread or sandwich bags, or grocery bags) in case a pick-up is needed. Then tie the bag securely and place it in a trash receptacle.

Cat Poop: When disposing of cat litter, place it in a sealed bag and put it into the trash. An remember, cat waste and/or used litter should never be flushed down the toilet- even if the package says you can-or  added to garden soil.

By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy the company of your furry friend knowing you are protecting our environment too.

Around the House:

Check out Louisville Gas & Electric’s  “Savings Energy and Money” page designed for homeowners and businesses.  Learn about residential and commercial rebates and energy analysis, fridge and freezer recycling, demand conservation and more. https://lge-ku.com/saving-energy-and-money

Use refillable water bottles and/or purchase a water filter for tap water. This not only keeps additional plastic bottles out of the environment, but can prove to be a cost saving.

Any type of vegetable cooking oil that is liquid at room temperature, such as olive, soybean and canola, from residential users only, can be recycled at a staffed Louisville Metro recycling center. For a list and map of recycling centers, click the link below.

https://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-works/map-recycling-locations-louisville

Reduce cost of air-conditioning.  Open windows and doors when the weather is mild. Add awnings to block the rays from direct sunlight. Tilt venetian blinds so that they slope to the outside. This will trap hot air between the blind and the window.

Replace old light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs. The CFL bulbs last longer and use less energy. Locally, Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) mails out postcards offering CFL bulbs. For more information on this program contact LG&E customer service at 502-589-1444

Shred all personal documents to keep bank and credit card accounts, social security and other sensitive and important documents out of the hands of identity thieves.

Recycle Electronics: Acceptable items for the Louisville Metro CyberCycle program include television sets, microwaves, computers, scanners, printers, monitors, tape & disk drives, electronic game systems, VCRs, CD players, digital cameras, copiers, cell phones, CD’s and floppy disks. For more information, times and locations, use the link shown below.

http://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-works/electronics-recycling

Replace disposal items with reusable alternatives such as fabric towels and napkins in place of paper products. Use reusable containers in place of one use containers.

Save energy by lowering your thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer. Even a 2-3 degree change can save up to 8-10% on your energy bill.  The area energy provider, Louisville Gas & Electric offers a Demand Conservation program. To find out more or to sign up for participation contact LG&E customer service at 502-589-1444 or go to www.lge-ku.com.

Old Medications: Imagine this: You’re cleaning out your medicine cabinet. Wow- did that bottle of pills really expire three years ago? And what about those prescription drugs you stopped taking five years ago? You suspect these old medicines shouldn’t simply be flushed in the toilet or dumped in the trash – and you’re right.  But what do you do?

The safe disposal programs prevent meds from entering the “waste stream”, reducing harmful impacts on   our waterways and the wildlife that rely on them. You’ll also help to prevent accidental overdoses and increase child safety in your home. It’s a good idea to remove labels showing the patient’s name, the name of the medication, and other personal information. St. Matthews area residents can use the Prescription Drug Disposal located in City Hall. Click on the Service tab; Prescription Drug Disposal for more information. For detailed information on other locations and hours use the link below.

http://www.jcsoky.org/community_serv.htm#Got_Drugs

Recycle the holiday Christmas tree: In St. Matthews, simply place trees at curb side on the day of the normal scheduled garbage pick up. If possible, purchase a balled tree that can be planted after the holidays.

Paint:  Recycle oil based and lead paints through a HAZ BIN disposal program run by the Metro Solid Waste Management Department. HAZ BIN is available to all residents of the Louisville/Jefferson County    Metro area. It provides a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted household hazardous materials which are not accepted by household garbage collection or recycling centers.  Latex paint can be disposed of at that time of your normal scheduled trash collection.  Paint in the can should be dry. Remove the lid and let paint dry in a safe area out of the reach of children and pets. To absorb excess paint stir in cat litter, sand, paper shredding or saw dust. For a full list of products accepted, locations and collection hours use the following link: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-works/latex-paint-recycling

Around the Yard

Landscaping water conservation can be achieved by utilizing the following easy-to follow tips.

  •  Spread a layer of mulch on the soil surface around plants.
  •  Make sure that sprinkler heads are adjusted properly to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways.
  •  Water early in the morning or late in the day. Evaporation rates are highest during the middle of the day.
  •  Don’t let landscape irrigation water overflow onto the sidewalk or street. When watering your lawn, use the “water and soak” method. Water for 3-5 minutes, let soak for one hour, then water for 3-5 minutes. Repeat as required.
  • Repair leaks in plumbing and irrigation systems with 72 hours of discovering them. One small leak can waste thousands of gallons per month.
  • Reset irrigation controllers to the amount of water needed for the current season, and replace their batteries in the fall and spring.
  • Compost yard waste when possible. Composting is nature’s way of recycling leaves, twigs, grass clippings and vegetable food waste. Whether it’s done on a large or small scale, composting helps keep organic material out of landfills and turns it into a useful product. Compost can be used as mulch or added to your garden or potted plants as an excellent source of nutrition. Composting containers can be purchased at many locations including local landscape and home improvement centers.
  • Vegetate bare spots in lawns to help prevent sediment from washing out into the gutter, street and storm drain system.
  • Harvest rain water by utilizing rain barrels to use in irrigating gardens, plant containers, landscaping, or lawns and trees.

Grasscycle:  When mowing the lawn leave the grass clippings on the lawn and allow vermicompostin (composting with worms) to occur.

Free Yard Waste Stickers for your designated yard waste containers are available at city hall.

Fertilizers / Pesticide

Don’t apply fertilizer before a rain storm. Consider using organic fertilizer as they release nutrients more slowly. Apply fertilizer to the lawn at the proper time and in the proper amount by following directions on the package. This can save time, effort, and money through reduced mowing and watering. There are many locations where organic fertilizer can be purchased. Use the link below to view a locally made product.   http://www.louisvillegreen.com

Use less toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems.

Use commercially available compost or make your own using garden waste. Mixing compost with your soil means your plants will need less chemical fertilizer and puts your water to good use.

Home Improvements

Green Roof construction replaces conventional rooftop materials with absorbent soils and plants. The layers of soil store storm water until it evaporates or is used by the plants. Green Roofs reduce energy  bills by providing an insulation roof to keep heat and cool air in the building.

When deciding to install or replace concrete or asphalt features, such as sidewalks, driveways or patios consider using specialized asphalt, permeable pavement, or permeable pavers. These material allows water to pass through into underlying soil reducing runoff into gutters, streets and waterways. In winter months these materials will reduce icing by letting the water pass through, rather than pool on the surface.

In the Neighborhood

Don’t litter! Discard trash, including cigarette butts, and recyclables into designated waste receptacles and never dump anything down storm drains on in the creek.

Use reusable shopping bags.  If you must use plastic bags, recycle them in designated containers found outside many area grocery stores.

Shipping Materials

Packing Peanuts can be recycled at local Pack and Ship store. Call the store location first.

In St. Matthews, cardboard boxes, broken down in 2 ft. x 2 ft. pieces, can be recycled with other recyclables on the regular recycling schedule.

Documents that have been finely shred can be utilized as packing material when shipping packages or when packing and storing fragile items.

When shipping packages, use plastic shopping bags as packing material to protect fragile items from shifting during delivery.

Storm Water

Build a rain garden, which is a shallow depression planted with native plants that resemble ordinary landscaping features. The run off of storm water flows into the rain garden where it is used by the plantings and can seep into the soil. Rain gardens can capture water from roof tops, driveways, patios and sidewalks.

Large planter boxes, usually constructed of concrete or brick, can process storm water similar to a rain garden. It can be used to make the site more attractive while managing the storm water.

Vegetated swales can be used to channel storm water on the surface instead of in the underground pipes. This slows and filters the storm water runoff, reducing pollution in streams and waterways. Storm water from roofs, driveways, patios and sidewalks can be directed into the vegetated swale.

Protect your neighborhood from storm water flooding by insuring that catch basins and gutter drains are kept clear of debris.  Cover grates can get clogged with leaves, twigs, grass clippings and even discarded trash. Clogged drains add to street and yard flooding. Please take time to rake away any debris that is covering drains near your home. Just a few minutes of your time could prevent flood damage. Please do not remove the grate as the area below can be deep and dangerous. If you notice that a grate or manhole cover is missing immediately contact the appropriate authority.  Do not pour oil, paint thinner, gasoline, or other petroleum-based chemicals or products into drains. Contaminating streams violates the Louisville and Jefferson County Hazardous Materials Ordinances. For more information or to report issues regarding catch basins or manhole contact City of St. Matthews at 502-895-9444 or Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) at 502-587-0603

For more information about storm water issues use this link.   http://msdlouky.org/

Vehicle Maintenance

Are you a Do-It-Yourselfer? If you change the oil on one or more vehicles at your home, you have a special obligation to protect our environment – and an easy and convenient way to meet the obligation. It’s a myth that a few drops of oil spilled on the ground every now and again – or a quart that “accidentally” makes its way to the street – can’t really hurt the environment. The fact is that used motor oil may contain such contaminants as lead, magnesium, copper, zinc, arsenic, chromium, chlorides, and cadmium. Just one gallon of oil can foul a million gallons of drinking water.  Federal reports indicate that used motor oil accounts for more than 40 percent of the total oil pollution of the nation’s waterways. That’s a lot of  drops or accidental quarts! Motor Oil & Fluids, no more than 5 gallons, can be recycled at a staffed. Louisville Metro recycling center. For a list and map of recycling centers, click the link below.

http://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-works/services/hazardous-materials-disposal-haz-bin

Take your vehicle to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway, where the wash water will run into the gutter, street and storm drain.

When possible, ride a bike, take a bus, carpool or walk. This not only saves on environmental carbo emissions but can be beneficial to your personal health.