A great way to celebrate Earth Day!

Submitted by Marlene Bosworth

There will be a free Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection event in Sabetha from 9 to 11 a.m. Earth Day, April 22, at the Nemaha County recycling trailers located behind The Main Event on the east end of Main Street.

This collection comes to Sabetha courtesy of the Nemaha County HHW program and is free of charge. Because the program is paid for by Nemaha County taxpayers, only those items from Nemaha County residents will be accepted. No out-of-county, medical or business waste will be accepted.

A trained HHW technician will be on hand on Friday, April 22, to assist residents with disposal of hazardous materials. Items collected will be placed in a special HHW trailer to be transported to a location where they will be safely disposed of.

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Many people are surprised to learn that many common household products are hazardous if not stored, handled, and disposed of properly. Items like household cleaners, fingernail polish remover, oil paint, disinfectants, paint stripper, varnish, garden chemicals, antifreeze and many others are considered hazardous.

Hazardous materials should never be disposed of in normal trash because of the risk they pose to clean water and people. If disposed of improperly in “normal” trash, they eventually wind up in a landfill where they can pollute streams and leach into groundwater supplies, causing severe water contamination. They also can injure sanitation workers that collect and process trash. Instead, outdated or unwanted household hazardous materials should be taken to a local HHW disposal site or a special HHW collection like the one scheduled for April 22.

If you plan to take advantage of the HHW event this month, here are things you can do to prepare:

• Take inventory of potentially hazardous materials around your home. Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks, in the garage or anywhere cleaning, woodworking, gardening or other supplies are stored. If you find items you want to keep, be sure to store them properly and use them as soon as possible.

• If you find items you want to dispose of, check containers and make sure lids are on tight.

• Keep materials in original containers if possible.

• Pack liquid and solid HHW materials separately.

• Put leaking or flimsy containers in a plastic bag; put each bag in a box of kitty litter or newspaper to control leaks. Label the contents on the outside of the box.

• Transport materials to the disposal site in the trunk, rear of an SUV or truck bed.

In addition to the HHW collection on April 22, Nemaha County offers a year-round HHW disposal program at the county landfill located on Highway 36 between Sabetha and Seneca. HHW can be disposed of there during normal landfill operation hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. For questions, call the landfill at 785-336-3070.

Do something good for the environment on Earth Day this year by taking your own HHW to the special HHW collection on April 22!

Acceptable Items

Acceptable items include antifreeze, brake fluids, carb cleaners, ammonia, bleach, disinfectants, drain cleaner, floor/furniture polish, general purpose cleaners, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, metal polish, nail polish remover, oven cleaner, pool chemicals, rug/upholstery cleaner, mothballs, adhesives, oil based paints/stain, paint stripper and thinners, and turpentine.

Not acceptable Items

The following items are not accepted:

• No medical waste;

• No waste generated by a business or manufacturing process;

• No out of county waste will be accepted.

Please contact the Nemaha County Landfill at 785-336-3070 for disposal of latex paint and used oil.

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