The Barton County Landfill is not accepting household hazardous waste. Drop-off times are 8 a.m. to noon every third Saturday of the month through Oct. 31 or by appointment. In addition, the service will be available: In Holyrood from 9 a.m. to noon June 1; and Larned, from 9 a.m. to noon May 4 and Oct. 5 at the Pawnee County Highway Department.
There is no charge. For more information, call the landfill at 620-793-1898.
It is spring and time for spring cleaning. For some Barton County residents, that means digging in dark basement or garage corners and finding cans and bottles of old household chemicals.
Fear not, said Barton County Landfill Manager Mark Witt. His facility has started its annual Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program which started April 1, it runs through Oct. 31.
The program is offered from 8 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of the month at the landfill, northeast of Great Bend, with the next date being May 18. Materials can be dropped off at other times by appointment.
There is no charge for the service.
In the beginning, the service was funded through a grant, but now, the cost is covered in the landfill’s budget. This includes the dumping, the required protective equipment and the disposal (for which the county contracts with an outside firm and costs about $15,000 each year).
“We just want to keep this stuff out of the environment,” Witt said. Last year, the landfill took in 34,200 pounds of such waste, which is about average for the program that has been in place since the early 1990s.
The landfill’s permit through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Bureau of Waste Management obligates the county to serve all of Barton and Pawnee counties and the western third of Ellsworth County.
In light of this, Witt’s staff will hold outreach pick-up opportunities. These include: Holyrood from 9 a.m. to noon June 1; and Larned, from 9 a.m. to noon May 4 and Oct. 5 at the Pawnee County Highway Department.
Accepted are household herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, any gardening chemical, household cleaners, automotive cleaners or fluids, all paint related products, and all batteries. Hazardous waste from commercial businesses is not allowed.
But, there is more than disposal, Witt said. Many of the chemicals collected can be picked up and recycled by all residents, homeowners and business owners alike.
After his staff has determined what is safe and reusable, it will made available to the public for free. This includes paint – both interior and exterior grades – as well as cleaning, automotive and other chemical products.
As a side note, personnel mix all the lighter-colored paints together. These mixtures are so popular, especially with landlords, that the landfill has a waiting list.
“We try to send out as much as possible,” Witt said.
One of the benefits of all of the recycling efforts is, of course, to extend the life of the landfill. The more items that can be recycled, the less that has to go into the ground, which means the county taxpayers will have more years before they have to pay for the expensive prospect of opening yet another landfill.
For more information, call the landfill, 620-793-1898.