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Volume ∞ Issue ∞

Recycling 101

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in All Home & Garden

Once again, the people of Fillmore County demonstrated their concern for the environment on October 1, by participating in the Fall Household Hazardous Waste Day held at the Fillmore County Resource Recovery Center. Hazardous waste from approximately 225 households was collected during the five hour event.

If you missed the party on the first, there will be another the first Tuesday in May of 2014. That happens to be the sixth of May, and then of course, as usual, there should be one the first Tuesday of October in 2014 as well. We realize many of you could not attend for one reason or another, but rest assured, we plan to be waiting for your more than generous donations of nasty stuff next year in either May or October, or both.

Please allow me to share a few paragraphs with you to answer questions that seem to come up at each HHW event. Hopefully, this will make collecting your waste and transporting it to the Recovery Center a bit easier. Let’s discuss batteries first. Your ordinary, run of the mill, alkaline batteries do not have to be recycled. They should be included in your landfill garbage. However, button batteries like the ones used in hearing aids, watches, and some television remotes need to be recycled. Also, any battery that is rechargeable must be recycled, not thrown in the garbage. Many of them contain cadmium, an chemical element you don’t want in the air, ground, or water. You can bring batteries to the Recovery Center throughout the year, not just on HHW Day. If you are not sure, bring them to us and we will determine if they are to be recycled.

There are always questions on aerosol cans. We want only the ones that have something left in them, be it paint, bug spray, or oven cleaner. If they are empty, simply throw them in with your landfill garbage. Once empty, they are more or less harmless. Which leads me to paint. Each HHW day, we get hundreds, many hundreds of paint cans. The same goes for paint cans as aerosol cans. If the paint can is empty and what was left in it has dried up, dispose of it in your landfill garbage. It too is relatively harmless at this point.

If the paint can is rusty and the label is missing, we still want it. However, if the can is leaking or is threatening to leak, place it into a plastic bag or two to keep the contents from dripping all over your vehicle, the floor and tables at the Recovery Center, and perhaps even the workers. Many, many containers...glass, metal, plastic, appeared on HHW Day and we were told by the owners that they had no idea what was in the container and were wondering if we would accept “mystery substances.”

We certainly will. If you don’t know what it is, don’t just dump it out...don’t even open it to smell of it. Just bring it to us very carefully. We will gladly take it off your hands. If you don’t know what it is, it is certainly hazardous.

Mercury thermometers are still appearing. Last October, we collected almost 20, this May more than 30 were donated, and now we just had fourteen more brought to us and a lot of people are the proud owners of new digital thermometers. Please let me know if you have one or two you would like to get rid of before they become a real hazard. There is a pretty good chance we can maybe make a trade.

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