April 27th was a really beautiful Spring day here in South Mississippi. I loaded up all those things in the house and yard that did not need to go into a landfill and took them to Wiggins to the Household Hazmat collection site. I was so happy to see that there were quite a few volunteers there, doing good work of sorting out both where to drive your car and the items themselves. I didn’t even have to get out of my car. A lovely lady took my name and told me which direction to drive, then a gentleman took my stuff, mostly household batteries, from the car and thanked me. I went on to do my other chores, but felt good about myself and about what I had seen at the collection site.
I wanted to follow up and find out what the total was at the collection so I made a phone call to Judy Breland at the Extension Office. She was in charge of putting together the Collection Day. She was also a fountain of useful information about recycling in Stone County.
First, she did give me some information about the Hazmat Collection itself. The things that turned up most were used tires and used automotive oil. Some other things were household paints and household pesticides. There were other types of things, but those were the most common items. Overall, participation was good and many people brought things in to be disposed of safely. How wonderful that people took part in making sure that so many hazardous materials were safely discarded or recycled.
Judy did also tell me that there most likely won’t be another collection in Stone County, at least not for a while. She did give me some really good information, however. Here’s how you can safely dispose of some hazmat:
- Walmart in Wiggins does take used oil to be recycled;
- Paints that are water based are not actually hazardous. Just let the can dry out, then it can be disposed of as regular garbage;
- Stone County will continue accepting electronics for recycling;
- Oil based paint IS hazardous and should be disposed of properly.
- There is a hazmat collection site on the Coast at the old Jack Daniels plant. Stone county residents can take their hazmat down there to be safely discarded.
Judy also gave me some really good information about things we can all do to be more aware and careful of the things we use and how to dispose of them. One of the things that turned up a lot at the collection was pesticides. Most people buy too much pesticide for the own needs, then are stuck with what is left. Often the unused chemicals are disposed of poorly, and unsafely. Judy suggested, and it was a great suggestion, that a group of people go in together to buy their pesticides and then share it around. It would save money as well as be used in a more aware way. Another thing that sharing as a group would do is bring folks together as a community, as neighbors. Sort of harkens back to older times when families worked as a community to the benefit of all.
I am sure I am forgetting everything that I was told, so if you want more information, please call Judy Breland at the Extension Office. Her number is 601-928-5286. She has so much knowledge and is more than willing to work with people to make Stone County a safer place to live, play, and work. Who needs all that oil in the ground water anyway?