Grand Island Area
Clean Community System's
Household Hazardous Waste
3661-2B Sky Park Road
Mondays from 11am-5pm
1st & 3rd Saturday of the month
Over 1.7 million. That's how many lead acid batteries the Grand Island Area Clean Community System has safely collected and disposed of since 1999.
On Tuesday the group announced they'll be taking care of even more of those and other hazardous materials with the opening of their permanent household hazardous waste collection facility.
"[People] get chemicals all the time, there's new ones made all the time, and we don't know what's poisonous, [and] what's not," said Betty Curtis, Executive Director of Clean Community System. "The point is we have to get rid of it in the correct way."
Curtis says people wanting to hazardous products like antifreeze, paint, and disinfectants out of their homes shouldn't just send it to the landfill or toss it down the drain.
"With groundwater, this is all we've got, and we have to be very protective of it," she said.
Officials say the facility will collect hazardous household waste from anyone, but they're especially excited to be partnering with communities in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, and Merrick counties. Those communities say that helping fund a permanent facility makes more financial sense for them than paying for a one-day collection once every couple years.
"I applaud the people in our community and the surrounding area wanting to do the right thing," said St. Paul Utilities Superintendent Chuck Schmid. "That's the bottom line - doing the right thing, getting rid of it the correct way."
Schmid says St. Paul has had to deal with water contamination from chemicals in the past, and that giving people a venue for proper disposal makes sense.
"It's so easy to get contamination, we've got to have good quality water, and that's what St. Paul has supplied into our community for many years," he said.
There's no charge for disposal of any products except electronics which cost 30 cents per pound. The facility will also feature a Drop and Swap Shop for unwanted products that could still be used.
The facility will open officially on December 12 and is requiring drop off appointments for the first few months.
Curtis says they're still looking for volunteers and board members. She says the facility was made possible by a 3-year $250,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and funding and support from the Department of Environmental Equality and Central Platte NRD.