PLATTSMOUTH – Thousands of items that could have gone to landfills are instead heading in a new direction – to recycling centers where their life cycles can be reborn in new uses.
This came about from two collection events last week in Cass County.
On Friday, a household hazardous waste drop-off at three sites collected more than 2,400 paint containers, 400 containers of chemicals, 150 car/motor products and 150 florescent light bulbs, according to Linda Behrns, director of the Keep Cass County Beautiful organization.
“The event provided a safe disposal method of potentially dangerous products that are used in the home, garden and farm areas,” Behrns said. “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, reduction and recycling of household hazardous waste conserves resources and energy that would be expended in the production of more products. Reuse of hazardous household products can save money and reduce the need for generating hazardous substances. Proper disposal also prevents pollution that could endanger human health and the environment.”
Friday’s collections, held in Plattsmouth, Weeping Water and Eagle, were provided by a coalition of organizations and volunteers concerned about the health of the environment, Behrns said.
Financial support was provided through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, plus other help from various counties, as well as Five Rivers Resource Conservation and Development.
Trained personnel from Red Willow County brought in trucks to collect the items.
KCCB helped with the promotion, according to Behrns.
The 90-minute Plattsmouth drop-off was held on the grounds of Wilber Ellis, Inc. and attracted 52 households with stuff to recycle.
Among the participants was Louisville’s Bob McCorkle, who came for the first time to drop off some paint.
“I think it’s great,” he said.
Kevin Albert, also of Louisville, also had paint to dispose of.
“I needed to find a place to get rid of it,” he said. “It’s a good thing for the county.”
Dan Thiessen, a Cass County roads employee, spent that time pouring old oil into a barrel for eventual reuse.
“It’s been steady, which is nice,” he said of the turnout. “It’s better to do it this way than to throw it in the ditches.”
Altogether, the three drop-off sites attracted 103 households, compared to 106 last year, according to Behrns.
“We all thought it was successful,” she said. “There were 20 people who helped run the events.”
On Saturday, KCCB sponsored its annual Electronic Recycling Event in Plattsmouth.
According to Behrns, 60 participants brought electronics for recycling that will be processed at Cross Electronic Recycling in Omaha.
“All items are used to provide vocational training and job experience for disadvantaged men and women at the Cross Training Center,” Behrns said.
This event was made possible in part by a Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Waste Grant, Cass County, Cross Recycling, the City of Plattsmouth and the Plattsmouth VFW.
During Saturday’s event, 36 televisions were collected, 14 CRTs (Cathode ray tube monitors), 38 computers, 36 printers, 33 receivers and players (DVD, VCR, converter boxes), 20 phones of various types, 14 stereos and speakers, 28 pounds of batteries, 10 kitchen appliances and other electronic devices.
“We will have one more electronic recycling event on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Louisville from 9 a.m. to noon at First and Cherry Street, which is north of the school football field,” Behrns said. “This one will include all electronics plus large appliances (white goods), power tools and lawn equipment.”
Environmental fees will apply to bulk alkaline batteries, $1.50 per pound; CRT monitors and all televisions by size; $20 up to 20 inch, $30 up to 30 inch, $40 up to 40 inch, $50 up to 50 inch, and so forth, Behrns said. Fee is calculated by screen size measured diagonally. All other items will be collected at no charge.
Keep Cass County Beautiful will pay half of the recycling fee of one item per household up to a total of $500 for the collection.