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Recycling 101


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Aug 31st, 2012
Posted in All Home & Garden

It is not too soon to start thinking about Fillmore County’s next Household Hazardous Waste event. As in the past, the fall event will be held on the first Tuesday of October. This year, the date is October 2. On that day, we will gladly accept your donations of household hazardous waste from noon until 5:00 pm.

Although unwanted paint is, by far, the most common HHW item, there are most likely many other nasty substances that you would rather not have in and around your home. The items accepted are, in fact, hazardous and should not be included in your landfill garbage. As usual, there will be a notice in your local newspapers again reminding you of the date and what will be accepted. However, you may want to start rounding up some items a bit early, so you have them collected well in advance. If you have neighbors that are unable to attend this event, you can certainly bring their items, as well. Please keep in mind this is Household Hazardous Waste and agricultural chemicals, explosives, medical waste, business waste, radioactive waste, and empty cans are items that are not accepted during this collection.

We will also be collecting lead this fall, mostly in the form of fishing tackle and wheel weights. Lead is the cause of death for many of our birds, including the Bald Eagle, each year. If they eat meat containing lead, it enters their blood stream and damages the brain. There are alternative sinkers and other tackle available to take the place of lead. Due to the gun powder in bullets, we cannot accept ammunition at this time.

There are thousands of button batteries used by Fillmore County residents each year, but most of them are finding their way into the landfill. Button batteries, like the kind used in hearing aids, even though quite small, contain some not-so-nice elements that may sooner or later, find their way into our drinking water. A set of hearing aids will use up to a hundred batteries each year which will account for a sizable amount of poison. Burning batteries, also not advised, can explode and cause serious injury. Burning batteries sends poisons into the air to fall back to earth as different forms of precipitation. These poisons are polluting our lakes, streams, fields and forests and sooner or later find their way into humans by way of the food chain. The same is true for rechargeable batteries that contain cadmium, lithium, lead, and several other elements you don’t really need accumulating in your body.

Mr. Grooters from the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District has informed me that their Annual Field Day for Fillmore County sixth grade students has been scheduled for September 19 at Forestville State Park. If this year is similar to previous years, I will be chatting with at least one hundred eighty students and adults concerning recycling in Fillmore County. It is always a good day for learning from several presenters, but the gormet lunch served by the SWCD staff is definitely worth the trip.

Thanks to many of you, we collected a bunch of bottles and cans during the fair and kept them out of the landfill. Thank you, also, for stopping by the Resource Recovery Center and Recycling Center exhibit at the fair. I had the opportunity to chat with a lot of people during the fair concerning recycling in Fillmore County. Your concerns and comments are always greatly appreciated. If you have any questions concerning Household Hazardous Waste Day, please don’t hesitate to call the Resource Recovery Center at 765-4704 or e-mail me at lpaulson@co.fillmore.mn.us

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