WALKER -- More than 475 households brought household hazardous waste to the Cass County product disposal and exchange program this past year.
Another 213 households benefitted from the exchange program by obtaining partially used cans of paint and stain, products in aerosol cans and other materials at no cost.
Products are collected at the county recycling center north of Pine River and at mini-collection sites throughout the county. Anyone wanting some of the free paint and other products can come to the recycling center anytime during the year.
This past year, people used 310 gallons of free paint it otherwise would have cost $745 to dispose of through hazardous waste programs.
Brita Sailer, recycling and waste reduction coordinator, said schools and theatrical production groups were among the heaviest users of this exchange program, using paint for theater production sets.
Individuals wanting to paint a small room or shed or piece of furniture also used the available paints and stains. Colors can be mixed from partial cans of paint to get enough quantity to do a project, she noted.
This summer, mini-collection sites will be offered from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. April 19 at Walker High School and from 1 to 5 p.m. June 16 at Longville City Hall, July 14 at Lake Shore City Hall and Aug. 14 at Crooked Lake Town Hall.
A waste pesticide collection will be held Sept. 19 at the county highway garage in May Township on County State Aid Highway 34. The time will be advertised in area newspapers later.
Empty paint cans may be deposited in regular garbage, but any cans containing some product should be brought to the mini-collection sites or the Pine River center, Sailer said.
Other household products that can be put into garbage include water-based glues, joint compound, cosmetics, skin cream, empty aerosol cans, alkaline batteries and fertilizer.
Products that can safely be poured down a sewer drain include photographic chemicals, rust remover, windshield washer solution, alcohol-based lotions, bleach, ammonia cleaners, disinfectants, drain cleaner, medicine, permanent wave solution, toilet bowl cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, window cleaner and septic tank cleaner, Sailer said.
However, larger quantities of some of these products such as bleach or disinfectants may interfere with bacterial action necessary to make a septic system operate. Anyone with questions may call Cass County Environmental Services Office, 547-7241 or 888-547-3301, for more information.
For an appointment to drop hazardous waste throughout the year at the county center at Pine River, call 587-3455 or 888-910-2425, ext. 2.
Garage and workshop products that should be brought to a hazardous waste site include acetone, antifreeze, artist's paint and media, auto body and repair products, battery acid, brake fluid, car batteries and waxes, contact cement, driveway sealer, fiberglass epoxy, gasoline and fuels, solvent-based glues, lighter fluid, motor oil and filters, paints and thinners and strippers, parts cleaner, shellac, stain, transmission fluid, turpentine, varnish, wood filler and preservative.
Kitchen and bathroom products going into the hazardous waste program include solvent based cleaners, flood care products, hair remover, nail polish and remover and oven cleaner.
Home and garden products considered hazardous waste include aerosol cans with unused product, button batteries, dry cleaning solvent, fluorescent tubes, fungicide, furniture polish, insect spray, light ballasts, solvent based metal polish, mothballs, pesticide, pool chemicals, rat poison, rechargeable batteries, shoe polish, spot remover, stump remover and weed killer.
Stores that sell car batteries must accept used one for recycling, Sailer said. Some Cass County stores also have a button battery collection box.
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