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Recycling 101


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in All Government

LaVerne C. Paulson

Recycling Education Coordinator

Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center held a very successful Fall Household Hazardous Waste event on October 2. Approximately two hundred fifty households dropped off donations of unwanted and unneeded materials during this “get rid of all that nasty stuff in your house and garage for free” day. Most of the people that brought hazardous waste have visited us on HHW Day several times. However, residents from forty-six households attended this event for the first time. I am sure they learned that dropping off hazardous waste is quite painless and they will be back with a few more items next year. Speaking of next year, the spring Hazardous Household Waste Day has been scheduled for May 7, 2013...traditionally the first Tuesday of May, and another will be held the first Tuesday of October. The hours of operation will be noon until 5:00 p.m. As usual, notices will appear in your local paper prior to the event. I know many of you missed this party for a variety of reasons, but it is never too early to start planning for May. Perhaps the boxelder bugs will be a bit less numerous in May.

We collected a lot of material that kept the crew of eight quite busy for five hours. Again, paint is the most common item brought for disposal. We have collected more paint on previous events, but filling nine large cardboard containers measuring approximately 4X4X4 (about seven cubic yards) is still a lot of paint. Please keep in mind that an empty, dried out, paint can is not hazardous waste and should be included in your landfill garbage.

Many of us thought that there were few, if any, mercury thermometers still floating around out there, but a bunch, nearly twenty, found their way to us once again. One concerned person turned in five of them and was rewarded with a brand new, never-been-used, digital thermometer. I am aware that several of you graciously donated your old termometer and were not given a new one. I have several on hand at the present time and will, (first come, first served until gone) give you a digital model if you did, indeed, bring one or more mercury models and did not get a replacement. If so, e-mail me at lpaulson@co.fillmore.mn.us or call me at 507-251-5240.

Most people who stop by with donations are asked to complete a short survey of five or six questions. One of the questions asks how important it is that Fillmore County has these HHW days each year. Approximately 95 percent of the people rated the program at a “5” with five being the top score. The comments that many added showed their appreciation for this day, as well. It is indeed encouraging to have a well attended HHW day. This is just another way the people of Fillmore County show their concern for the environment and choose to dispose of this waste in the most correct way. Your children and grandchildren thank you for your efforts.

On September 19, I spent several hours at Forestville State Park chatting with 177 Fillmore County Sixth Grade Students. As in past years, they were very interested in the different facets of recycling. Their questions and comments demonstrate their concern for the conservation of our natural resources and the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. These young people understand the need for recycling and are actively involved in the process.

After visiting the different learning stations throughout the morning, the kids, along with their teachers and bus drivers, were treated to a gourmet picnic lunch. Thanks to Rick Grooters and the entire Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District staff for hosting this annual event that teaches our youth about conservation of our valuable resources while having fun enjoying a beautiful autumn day.

America Recycles Day will again be celebrated November 15. A couple articles are scheduled to appear in the Fillmore County Journal in the next few weeks. I will be giving you information and tips on how you can perhaps improve some of your recycling habits.

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