Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful receives numerous phone calls from people asking how to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) items such as pesticides, fluorescent bulbs, chemicals, fertilizers, old gasoline, and paint.
It has been several years since a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection was offered to Athens and Limestone County residents. KALB applied for a grant and, if awarded, it will be used to assist in providing such a collection.
There are some items that can be handled in other ways. Here are a few:
Batteries: All types of batteries can be recycled at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center. Batteries should not be placed in your household garbage can.
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs): These can be taken to Lowe's for recycling. There is a collection bin in the return section of the Athens store. Bags and instructions for disposal are provided at the collection bin.
Fluorescent Tubes: These can be taken to any Batteries Plus store for recycling. If you purchase replacement tubes, they will accept them free of charge. If not purchasing replacements, there may be a nominal fee.
Electronics: If it uses electricity or runs on batteries, we can recycle it at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center. There is an $8 disposal fee for TVs. Everything else is accepted free of charge!
Latex Paint: The best way to handle usable paint is to use it! Mix paint together and use as a primer or give it to someone who might use it for small projects. Latex paint is not truly a hazardous waste, but it is very harmful to equipment and roadways when placed in trash containers. Once paint is dry, however, it may be discarded. If there is a small amount in the can, place in a safe location and remove the lid. Once the paint is dry you may recycle the can. For larger amounts, you can line a cardboard box with a trash bag and pour in the paint. Keep this in a place away from children and pets. Add paint drying agent, kitty litter, or sand to help speed the drying process. Once the paint is dry, you may place the plastic bag containing the dry paint into your garbage container. The paint can and cardboard box may be recycled. Oil based paints, Kilz, lacquers, and paint thinners must be disposed of at a HHW collection.
We appreciate how many people truly do care about the environment and continue to hold on to these HHW materials waiting for an authorized collection day. If this is important to you, please let your city councilman or county commissioner know. It is the only way your city and county representatives know what concerns their constituents.
Of course, we at KALB are always interested in your questions or comments. Find us on Facebook, check out our website, email or call us. If we don't have an answer, we'll work to find one.
By: Lynne Hart