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Recycling 101 - 5.19.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, May 16th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Recycling Education Coordinator

The last week of April was a bit on the cool side and more or less relatively damp. But Mother Nature made a few changes so many of our farmers found their way into their fields when the sun reappeared, the weather warmed up, and the soil became workable. This spring-like weather was also what the Resource Recovery Center needed for a very successful Spring Household Hazardous Waste Day in Fillmore County.

On May 6, 158 vehicles bringing hazardous waste from 225 households in Fillmore County visited the Resource Recovery Center to drop off their “donations.” I know quite a few of you are wondering what kind of “gifts” we get at HHW Day. There were several, 55-gallon drums that contained different things listed in the notice in the newspaper such as rodent poison, ant poison, moth balls, aerosol cans, herbicides, insecticides, lawn and garden fertilizers, household cleaners, oven cleaners, and unidentifiable unknowns. I must thank the people who brought in unmarked containers of liquids and then informed the staff of the container and the unknown contents. If you have a container of something that is a mystery, do not open it to see what it smells like. Just pack it carefully in a box and bring it to the next collection in October.

Did we get any paint? Each HHW Day, paint seems to be the most common item. This time we filled 13 large cardboard containers. The total volume of paint cans in these containers was somewhere between 15 and 17 cubic yards. Please allow me to state this a different way. A quick estimation of this amount could be somewhere in the vicinity of 1,800 paint cans. Yes, that is a lot of paint cans.... and we may get that many again on October 7. There should be an article sometime in September as a reminder of the upcoming HHW day.

The Fillmore County Fair will be here in July. Some of the decals on the recycling containers have been showing some wear and faded. I contacted the people at Keep America Beautiful and through a mini-grant, we will be receiving new decals for the containers. The recycling program at the fair has been quite successful in the past and I don’t expect that to change, except making it even better.

Speaking of the fair, the Fillmore Resource Recovery Center, Recycling, and Household Hazardous Waste booth will not be in the DNR building with the fish tanks this year. You will most likely find us, as well as the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District, in the west end of the commercial building. An article in a few weeks will contain some information concerning recycling at the fair.

The rural recycling containers are not for garbage. Each time they are dumped at the Recycling Center, we find items that are not recyclable. Recently, two of these containers were removed due to frequently finding an excess amount of landfill garbage mixed with the recycling in and near the container. More of the rural containers will be removed if they are not used correctly. Most likely, the people who are dumping their garbage in them will not be reading this article, so if you know someone who is misusing the containers, please inform them that the container will be removed. I know hundreds of you throughout the county use these containers correctly and appreciate the convenience of recycling locally, but we cannot allow people to use them for garbage dumpsters filling them with used lumber, electronics, diapers, broken furniture, and household garbage.

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