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Thursday, August 21st, 2014
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Recycling 101


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013

The Household Hazardous Waste Day held last month was very successful. The snow had finally disappeared, the sun was shining, and the temperature was pleasingly warm. The pleasant weather seemed to encourage Fillmore County residents to bring their hazardous waste to the Resource Recovery Center. More than 150 vehicles brought various items from nearly 200 homes throughout the county. As usual, paint cans were the most plentiful donation, but there was also an abundance of anti-freeze, aerosol cans, herbicides, insecticides, lawn and garden fertilizers, paint thinners, rechargeable and button batteries, moth balls, and household cleaners.

Last October, after the fall collection, I thought perhaps we had seen the last of really rusty paint cans. Perhaps not. Once again, residents of Fillmore County found new supplies that have been hiding in barns, sheds, garages, and even attics. It was good to see that they were brought to HHW Day and disposed of correctly, not just dumped someplace to pollute our precious soil and water.

How many paint cans do we collect on such a day? I did some quick figuring and I think the equivalent of a few more than 2,000 gallon cans were collected. Of course they weren’t full and many were quarts, but it gives you some idea of how many are brought to this event. One more thing about paint cans. If they are empty and contain only dry paint, they should not be brought to HHW Day, but should be placed in your weekly landfill garbage. This is also true of aerosol cans. If they are completely empty, they should be part of your regular garbage.

If you have a container that is not labeled, and you don’t know what it is, HHW Day is the day to get rid of it. If it is a glass jar containing some unknown substance, transport it carefully packed in a box to prevent it from tipping over or breaking. When you get to the collection site, please inform the workers that you have this container so they can deal with it accordingly.

Just when one thinks we have collected each and every mercury thermometer in Fillmore County during the last five years, more than 30 appeared during HHW Day, and 16 happy customers went home with a brand new, never been used, digital thermometer. We still have a few left, so if you want to make a trade, contact me and I will see what we can do to set you up with the newer model while they last.

Fillmore County residents who participate in a HHW Day are aware of the very short survey that is completed by one person from each vehicle that donates any number of items. It is from this survey that we also determine how many households participate at each event. As usual, nearly all of our visitors felt Hazardous Household Waste Days are extremely necessary and are a simple and painless way to get rid of all that nasty stuff they really don’t want in their homes. Likewise, a great majority of the comments on the site, convenience, and attitude and helpfulness of the staff were very positive. As I handed out surveys, directed traffic, and unloaded vehicles, I had a chance to meet many of you and spend a few seconds chatting about hazardous waste, recycling, and, of course, the weather. Your comments on Recycling 101 articles were greatly appreciated and quite encouraging.

The date for the next Fillmore County Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held this fall on October 1st. It is not too early to begin thinking about what you want to get rid of this time around. Thank you for a very successful spring collection and I look forward to seeing many of you again this fall.

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