Columbia hazardous waste facility opens for the year

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COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Works opened its Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility for the first time this year Saturday.

Columbia residents can bring their household hazardous products to the facility every first and third Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. now through November.

Antifreeze, latex paint, motor oil and disinfectants are just a few examples of the types of materials the facility collects from residents.

The Public Works Department lists all household hazardous products it collects on its website.

Jody Cook, a volunteer programs specialist with the city, said the collection facility is a safe way for residents to throw away their hazardous materials.

“This is a good way to safely get rid of a lot of dangerous chemicals and keep them out of our landfill, and keep them out of our ground water,” Cook said.

Cook said all of the latex paint collected is sorted on site and will later be offered to the public for free.

“I have two shifts of volunteer paint sorters that open latex paint. They stir it, and they poor it in a 5-gallon bucket that best matches the color,” Cook said. “All of that latex paint is then offered free to the public. So the public will come in, and they will take all of this paint, and reuse it in houses or rental properties.”

The “HHW Paint for Re-Use Shed” is located at the collection facility, and is open on Mondays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays through Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cook said the facility normally collects more than 40 5-gallon buckets of latex paint during one collection event.

Another product the department reuses is motor oil.

“The oil we process ourselves,” Cook said. “So all the motor oil that’s coming in they’re filtering it out, and then they put it in a burner, and they heat all the buildings out here with that.”

Cook said things like antifreeze and enamel paint are picked up by different vendors to reuse.

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