City of Columbia aims to maintain a safe environment

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COLUMBIA— The City of Columbia held the first Household Hazardous Waste Collection of the month on Saturday. 

Columbia Public Works provided residents a place to safely dispose of their hazardous household materials that can be harmful to the environment at its collection facility. 

The event was created to help eliminate materials that shouldn't be in the landfill, all while being safely disposed of. 

The City collected items such as oil, paint, batteries and light bulbs. 

Volunteer Programs Specialist Jody Cook said that there are many steps the community can take toward a safer environment and eliminating waste.

"I think the biggest difference we can all make is make decisions to reduce. Whether you're buying paint--get what you really need," Cook said. 

Paint is one of the most disposed items. Cans of paint are recycled, consolidated and made available to the public. Last year, 3900 gallons of latex paint was recovered and provided to citizens for free. 

"It's just really important because there's no way to legally dispose of this stuff except to do it through Household Hazardous Waste," Cook said.  

Those who are in need of latex paint are able to visit the "Household Hazardous Paint for Re-Use Shed." For more information on hours of operation, please visit the City's website.

Volunteer Alan Luger said that he enjoys events that are surrounded around bettering the community. 

"It's the pleasure of giving some time back to the city," Luger said. 

Luger said the last big event he helped with was the Rock Quarry Cleanup. 

"Volunteers make events like this successful," Cook said. "They're definitely making a big contribution in the success of household hazardous waste event."

At last month's event, almost 400 people were in attendance each time. 

The event will be held every first and third Saturday of the month, through November.