TRUMAN - The Faribault and Martin County Solid Waste Collection Events will start Thursday and run through Oct. 2, with lots of opportunity to properly dispose of all those items that can't go in the regular garbage, says Billeye Rabbe, solid waste director for both counties.
"Public service is the reason for the collections," Rabbe said.
Every Wednesday is a big day at Prairieland Solid Waste Management facility in Truman, where Rabbe is director. That's the day the public can drop off any household hazardous waste items from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 7 to Sept. 24.
Billeye Rabbe, director of Prairieland Solid Waste Management in Truman, sorts through some items turned into the solid waste management facility. Some of the items can be used and they are stored in the room behind Rabbe. Solid Waste Collection Events start Thursday.
"This year, we're adding that they can bring appliances and electronics to Wednesday collections, as well as Fairmont clean-up days," Rabbe said.
When she says electronics, Rabbe means televisions and computers.
"For some smaller items, the cost will be less (than $15)," she said, adding that she's willing to negotiate.
With the weather becoming more pleasant, it is a great time of year to have the collections, she said.
"It's a time when people are cleaning up," Rabbe said. "They've stored things over winter and now they're getting ready for graduations and other events. It's a good start to cleaning in spring and summer. We usually tend to be busy right away."
The purpose of these clean-up days is to give people an opportunity to "dispose of what they need to in the proper fashion and make it easy for people," Rabbe said. "Everything has a place and we make those places available to people."
How do you know what is household hazardous waste?
"If you look on the label and it has the words 'poison,' 'danger,' 'caution' or 'warning,' that's a strong indicator," Rabbe said. "If there's product in the can, it can't go in the garbage. If the container is empty, then that container can go in the garbage.
"It's the products in the can we don't want to get loose in the garbage stream," she explained.
Prairieland's garbage is taken to Xcel Energy to be burned for fuel.
"It has to be cleaned before it gets into the air stream, air pollution," Rabbe said. "In the end, it costs you more money. It makes everyone's tax dollars work harder."
In other counties where garbage is buried in a landfill, those hazardous items can get into the soil and groundwater, using more tax dollars for clean up.
The cost Prairieland charges is minimal.
"We're trying to give them a way to recycle products for the least cost possible," Rabbe said.
She has lists of the household hazardous waste Prairieland disposes of, and anyone who still has questions can call her at (507) 776-3232.
"If there's something they shouldn't bring, we tell them that," Rabbe said.
"Businesses are in a different category," she added. "They should call me. They have to have an EPA number to come into household hazardous waste."
Anyone with farm chemicals should call Rabbe for an appointment.
Fluorescent bulbs and ballasts will be collected in the former K-Mart parking lot in Fairmont from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Call the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce for more information at (507) 235-5547.
Saturday will be the Blue Earth City Wide Clean-Up Day from 9 a.m. to noon at Faribault County Fairgrounds. Household hazardous waste is free; there is a charge for each other item. Call the Blue Earth Chamber at (507) 525-2916.
Several county clean-ups are scheduled as well. Household hazardous waste will be taken for free. There will be a $15 fee for appliances, electronics, furniture and garbage per cubic yard.
"A lot of smaller towns don't have the means to operate clean-ups on their own, so I come over," Rabbe explained.
For more information, contact Rabbe at (507) 776-3232 unless otherwise noted.
Delavan will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 10 a.m. to noon May 6 on the street by the Gazebo. Appliances, electronics, garbage and furniture will be collected.
Elmore will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 10 a.m. to noon in the city hall parking lot. Appliances and electronics will be taken. Pre-pay at Elmore City Hall. Items should be curbside for collection by 10 a.m. Rural residents contact City Hall.
Bricelyn will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 9 a.m. to noon May 17 at the city garage. Appliances, electronics, garbage and furniture will be taken.
Minnesota Lake will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 9 a.m. to noon May 31 at the city garage. Household hazardous waste, appliances, electronics, garbage and furniture will be taken.
Wells will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 at the county garage. Household hazardous waste will be taken.
Kiester will host a Faribault County Clean-up from 9 a.m. to noon June 7 at the Farmer's Co-op Elevator lot on the corner of Front and Third Street. Appliances, electronics, garbage and furniture will be taken.
"The big one in June is the Martin County Clean-up Day at the Martin County Highway Department," Rabbe said. "That's the one where they can bring their tires. They can also bring furniture and electronics and appliances and household hazardous waste."
That collection event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Car tires are $3 each; semi tires and racing tires are $10; and tractor tires are $40.
It slows down in July and August, only to pick up again in September.
Pesticide container recycling is set for Sept. 9 at the Faribault County Highway Department in Blue Earth and for Sept. 11 at the Martin County Highway Department in Fairmont. Both events are free of charge.
There's one last chance for county clean-ups in September.
Martin County Clean-up is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Highway Department. Appliances, electronics, and tires will be collected again.
Faribault County Clean-up is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Highway Department. Appliances and electronics will be taken again.
It will end the way it began with fluorescent bulb and ballast recycling on Oct. 2 in the old K-Mart parking lot in Fairmont.