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Don't leave junk for the kids to clean up
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Keep Liberty Beautiful logo
Sara Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.
Let’s get real as we get ready for recycling next week on May 5 in Liberty County. Let’s play a little truth or dare about what we have at home or work that can be recycled.
We offer these collections for items that really need to be recycled but cannot be recycled at our Recycling Drop-off Centers.
But don’t worry. I have heard all the reasons why people do not recycle: too busy; don’t have time; I am booked up to the year 3000; recycling is a waste of time; why should I worry about landfills filling up, it will happen in someone else’s lifetime – blah, blah, blah.
I have heard them all and I have maybe even thought of a few of them myself sometimes.
Let me set the record straight. The incredible amount of waste we are creating affects our generation right now and will also have significant impact on our children’s and grandchildren’s generations.
Isn’t that reason enough to open the door to your junk closet and storage room and pull out the stuff that you do not use?
Here is some quick truth or dare: The truth is that when you peek in your hall closet or junk drawer or clothes closet there are lot of things that have not seen the light of day in a long, long time. Batteries that you have meaning to do something about, but keep forgetting are lurking there as well as maybe some CFL bulbs that you have changed out for LED bulbs.
What about in your clothes closet? All of those sizes that maybe you wore a few years ago or that you keep saving because you just know you are going to lose those extra pounds this year. Get real.
What about those shoes that you thought would be perfect with that outfit you bought even though the shoes were a size too small? I dare you to look at your shoes closet and tell me that you do not have at least 10 pairs of shoes that you rarely ever or never wear now.
When we started these fairs, we chose many items that emit toxins over time and really need to be recycled, like computers, cell phones, batteries and other electronics. We chose items that could be reused, like viable used paint, shoes, clothes and household appliances.
We chose items like motor oil and antifreeze that can be hazardous to our groundwater and waterways if cars are not serviced properly and leak on our roadways. We chose old prescriptions and OTC medications because they need to be disposed of properly so they do not damage our local water sources.
So here is the dare part of this game: I dare you to spend just 30 minutes this week in those scary little places in your junk storage and storage room and closets and drawers. I believe you will quickly find many items that you can bring next Saturday. I double dare you and I will be looking for you!
Our fair sites, which are all open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May , are:
• Liberty County Health Department, 1113 East Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville
• Midway Police Department,  10490 East Oglethorpe Highway in Midway
• Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville

Here is a reminder of the items we can accept:
• “E” waste, or electronics, including computers, printers, monitors and any computer accessories; stereo equipment and televisions; cell phones and accessories.
• Household paint as long as the cans are sealed well, are not rusted and are at least half full. We can only collect paint that is in acceptable condition for reuse at the Habitat Restore. (If you have paint cans that are not in good condition, add cat litter or sand to the paint, let it completely dry up, and then dispose of the cans in your regular garbage.)
• CFLs and fluorescent light bulbs
• Used motor oil and antifreeze, as well as car batteries. At the Midway and Walthourville sites, we can accept the car batteries but we can only accept the oil and antifreeze in clean, disposable containers. (Remember to always recycle motor oil and antifreeze as soon as possible. Never pour these items down the drain or into a storm drain or just dump them. They cause severe water pollution problems.)
• Any household batteries
• Printer ink and toner cartridges
• Telephone books and large sale catalogs
• Hardback books, paperbacks and textbooks
• Prescription and over-the-counter medications. There will be a Prescription Take Back event at all three locations. Never flush these items down the toilet. These types of items have a detrimental effect on our waterways and, consequently, on aquatic life and humans. Please note we cannot accept liquids or needles.
• Household goods and clothes (in clean, decent condition, please)
• Shoes (please, gently used only). 4Hers are collecting these for a community project.

Many of these items are not healthy for our environment – and for us – so we need to recycle them appropriately. Some of these items can be reused, which is a great way to maximize their lifespan and keep them out of our landfill.
By recycling, you also have the added benefit of freeing up space in your home. For more information on recycling and the upcoming fairs, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 912-880-4888 or klcbdirector@gmail.com.
See you Saturday. I dare you.


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