If you're a resident of Athens or Limestone County, odds are good you have a small stockpile of hazardous household waste in your home, garage, shed or barn.
Simply put, residents have no way to dispose of such items. The county's recycling center accepts motor oil and cooking oil, but not oil-based paint or automotive fluids like antifreeze, transmission fluid or old gasoline.
It also doesn't accept pesticides or herbicides, cleaning chemicals or cans of spray paint or spray primer.
It's been 11 years since residents were given a way to dispose of their dangerous household waste.
“The first and only time was 2008,” said Lynne Hart, executive coordinator of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful. “Between us and the recycling center, we get calls almost daily asking what to do with this stuff. People don't know how to get rid of it.”
At Tuesday's Limestone County Commission meeting, a resident asked commissioners how to dispose of the items. Bernice Robinson said she was cleaning a house and came across cans of old spray paint. She called the recycling center and learned they wouldn't take it because they don't have the resources to accept it and dispose of it properly.
“I feel like most people will just throw it in a trash bag and it will wind up on a trash truck,” she told the commission, adding she would like the county to host another day for hazardous waste disposal. “I don't want to keep it in my garage.”
Commissioner Ben Harrison explained both the recycling center and Walmart would take used motor oil. He said most residents may not be aware latex paint can be thrown away if it's dried first.
In April, the city of Huntsville began offering residents a way to drop off hazardous waste five days a week. Hart said it's a shame it's been 11 years since Athens-Limestone residents were offered the same service.
“I have contacted (Commission Chairman Collin Daly) and we're going to sit down and talk about it,” she said. “I'm excited to explain to him why we need to do this.”
In other business Tuesday, the commission:
• Changed its Wednesday, June 26, meeting to Tuesday, June 25;
• Hired Terry Abel III as a corrections officer, pending a drug screening;
• Gave preliminary and final approval to the replat of Lots 1 and 4 in the Elmore Estate subdivision, a three-lot minor subdivision 1 mile west of Alabama 99 in District 4;
• Gave preliminary and final approval to Walkers Enchanted Forest replat, a 1-lot minor subdivision north of the intersection of Christie and Katie drives in District 1; and
• Gave preliminary and final approval to Wales subdivision, a two-lot minor subdivision 1 mile west of Alabama 251 on Miller Lane in District 1.
• District 1: Commissioner Daryl Sammet said his first round of paving projects went well. He's now preparing for a second round. He said the state is paving from Interstate 65 to Alabama 251 at Ardmore and would be milling the intersection within the next couple of weeks;
• District 2: Commissioner Steve Turner said the county's engineering department would begin the second round of herbicide spraying later this week. When that's completed, he said, crews will begin bush hogging in his district;
• District 3: Commissioner Jason Black is anticipating the arrival of a road reclaimer this week. He said crews would also be replacing some cross drains;
• District 4: Harrison said crews are putting a second layer of rock on Cannon Road. A final layer is set to be put down today, depending on the weather.