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Household Hazardous Waste Day


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Apr 5th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

LaVerne C. Paulson

Recycling Education Coordinator

May 7th, the first Tuesday in May, Fillmore County will again be celebrating the ever popular Household Hazardous Waste Day. Before you read any further, make a note of this on your calendar so this date doesn’t sneak by you and you miss the festivities. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November, and the two Household Hazardous Waste Days in Fillmore County are observed the first Tuesday of May and the first Tuesday of October, which happens to be October 1st this year.

What makes something hazardous waste? If you are not sure a substance is hazardous, treat it as if it is. This is a good time to rather be safe than sorry. Somewhere on the label you may find a word that would lead you to believe the contents are most likely a little less than friendly. When you see words such as Caution... Poison... Warning... Danger... Flammable... Combustible... or Corrosive, the contents should be considered hazardous and when you decide you no longer want them around, they must be disposed of properly by bringing them to the Resource Recovery Center on Household Hazardous Waste Day.

Although unwanted paint is, by far, the most common HHW item, there are most likely many other nasty substances lurking around your house that you perhaps should not have in your home. These items are indeed hazardous, and should not be included in your landfill garbage or dumped on a pile of garbage somewhere. There will be, as in other years, notices in your local newspaper reminding you of the date, the time, and what is and is not 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 day is meant for Household Hazardous Waste. Agricultural chemicals, explosives, medical waste, business waste, radioactive waste, and empty, dried out paint cans and empty aerosol cans will not be accepted during this collection. Empty aerosol and paint cans can be placed in your landfill garbage.

If one of your containers is leaking, please place it in a larger container or carefully double-bag it to help keep the unloading area as clean and dry as possible. Spilled paint can make for very dangerous working conditions. We will accept an unmarked container with unknown contents, but please be very, very careful when transporting it to the facility and inform the workers that it is, indeed, an unknown substance.

We need your rechargeable batteries and your button batteries. At this time, your common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill alkaline batteries can be landfilled with your normal household garbage. The batteries we want contain mercury, cadmium, lithium, lead, and several other elements you really don’t want to release into the air, soil, and water by burning or burying. On the subject of nasty elements, we also want your mercury thermometers. More than a dozen were collected last fall, and seven lucky residents of the county were rewarded with brand new, never-been used digital models. I still have five left and they will go to the first five people that donate their old mercury model to Fillmore County on the seventh.

The celebration starts at twelve noon on May 7th and continues until 5:00 pm at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center in Preston. Approximately 250 households showed up for the fall party held last October. It is encouraging to see so many of you disposing of your hazardous waste correctly. If you have any questions concerning HHW, please contact the Resource Recovery Center at 507-765-4704 or e-mail me at lpaulson@co.fillmore.mn.us. I will be looking forward to seeing you in a few short weeks. Thank you for your recycling efforts.

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