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Recycling 101 - 1.20.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

Fillmore County’s next Household Hazardous Waste Day is a few months away, but I would like to pass this information on to you at this time and answer some of the questions you may have about hazardous waste. As most of you are aware, Fillmore County holds two Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days each year, on the first Tuesday of May and the first Tuesday of October. The 2014 dates are May 6 and October 7. These collection days are held at the Resource Recovery Center in Preston. Another article will published in April to give you a little more advance notice to decide what you plan to donate to the cause.

Joe E. Heimlich from Ohio State University Extension in Columbus, Ohio, has published a fact sheet on HHW. Some of the following information has been gleaned from that article, as well as what I have shared with you many times over the last five or six years.

There is a pretty good chance that every household in Fillmore County has some hazardous materials. When they are no longer wanted or needed, these materials should be disposed of properly during one of our HHW collection days. The Resource Recovery Center’s notice in the newspaper a couple weeks before HHW Day will list the most common hazardous wastes and what will be accepted at the collection. If you are not sure something is hazardous, call the Recovery Center (507) 765-4704, or send me an e-mail and we will try to answer your questions. Or, just bring it to the collection and the staff will determine if it stays with us or goes home with you. Please remember that these collections are for household waste only and do not include agricultural or business waste.

Some, but not all hazardous materials will have a warning of some sort on the label. “Wear gloves,” “Do not store near heat or open flame,” and “Use only in well ventilated room” are a few of the clues that something is indeed hazardous. Please be aware of these warnings when storing or using these materials.

Don’t buy more of something than you plan to use. If you have an excess amount, sometimes a neighbor can use the leftovers, but be sure the product is in its original container with the label intact. Any precautionary information that may have accompanied the container should also be given to the new user.

Never burn or dump any hazardous wastes on the ground. Do not dispose of hazardous wastes “down the sink, down the toilet, down the sewer system or into a septic tank.” Avoid burying any containers with leftover chemicals. Do not mix hazardous wastes. Pesticides, herbicides, oil paints, paint cleaners, and oil and transmission fluids should never be flushed into a water system or disposed of on the ground or put into household garbage.

In our society, hazardous waste is guaranteed. We use many chemicals daily at home, at play, and at work. Wise purchase, use, storage, and disposal of necessary chemicals can greatly reduce the negative environmental impact of these chemicals. Finding effective alternatives to their use avoids the creation of hazardous wastes from the home.

Paint that is unwanted or unneeded is usually the main product brought to Household Hazardous Waste Day. However, take a look at your storage areas and see if there are items that you may never use, have been there for a while, and maybe should be disposed of properly. You really don’t want them in your home. Start rounding this stuff up now so you will be ready for the HHW celebration in May.

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