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Ottertail puts on HHW collection [UPDATED]

Published 9:40am Tuesday, June 7, 2011 Updated 12:42pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ole Mounts may be retired as mayor of Ottertail, but he still wants to see his community stay clean and safe. On Friday Mounts, who served 28 years as mayor, was among the volunteers who helped collect buckets of paint and barrels of automotive fluid at the city’s annual Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection.

Ottertail is one of many cities that partner with Otter Tail County Solid Waste to host a mobile HHW collection in their community, every summer. HHW collections allow residents the opportunity to dispose of unwanted hazardous items such as paint, cleaners and household pesticides in an environmentally responsible way. There is no charge.

“We’re fortunate to have assistance from Otter Tail County for these hazardous waste collections,” said Mounts.

The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department had four county employees on hand in Ottertail on Friday, working with Mounts and six other volunteers at the designated drop station near the community center. Employees and volunteers took information from participants, helped unload vehicles, sorted materials and packed them into the county’s trailer to return to the HHW facility in Fergus Falls.

“Items collected will be further sorted at the county facility,” said Jess Steinbrenner, Public Information and Environmental Education Officer for OTC Solid Waste. “Items that are still in usable condition, such as leftover paint or stain, are offered at our product exchange facility on Tower Road for residents to take for free. Other items are shipped to end markets and recycled in a variety of ways.”

In addition to mobile collections like the one in Ottertail, the county Household Hazardous Waste facility at 1115 North Tower Road in Fergus Falls accepts HHW items every Thursday throughout the year. The facility is also open the second Saturday of each month, May through September. Common items brought in to household hazardous waste drop stations are paint, thinners, solvents, adhesives, automotive oil, brake fluid, gasoline and antifreeze.

This time of year, people also find weed killer, insecticides, pesticides and recreational items such as rechargeable batteries and propane tanks.

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