We’ve all got them: those shelves we try not to look at, lined with cans of old paint, older pesticides, ancient fertilizer and other stuff we can’t use anymore but can’t just toss in the trash.
The City of Decatur wants to provide an alternative to just keeping it around.
At Monday night’s meeting the city council authorized City Manager Brett Shannon to execute an interlocal agreement with the City of Fort Worth that will allow Decatur residents to dispose of hazardous household wastes at Fort Worth’s Environmental Collection Center, located at 6400 Bridge Street, just north of Interstate 30 at East Loop 820.
Decatur residents will be required to purchase a voucher at City Hall before going to the facility, for a fee of around $50. Fort Worth will charge the city $47 for each visit.
“It’s a wonderful service the citizens can use,” Public Works Director Earl Smith told the council. “If they use it, they pay. It doesn’t cost the city anything.”
Mayor Martin Woodruff said it was the kind of deal he’s been looking for.
“I’d love for our residents to have something, and I would encourage homeowners to get rid of this stuff, legally,” he said.
Shannon said the city’s waste disposal contractor, Progressive Waste Solutions, does not have a hazardous household waste program at this time.
“The county doesn’t have anything,” he said. “Progressive Waste is working on it. This would at least give our citizens a place to take it to in the meantime.”
Forty-eight entities – Tarrant, Hood, Johnson and Parker counties, the Tarrant and Upper Trinity regional water districts and 42 cities – currently utilize the service. Half require their citizens to purchase a voucher, while the other half just bear the cost with public funds.
Smith said the Fort Worth center tries to recycle as much of what they collect as possible – even mixing up all the latex paint and giving it away to participating cities and counties free of charge. They also have a “help-yourself” shelf with free chemicals, cleaners and paint in like-new condition.
The center is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturdays. They also have a mobile unit – the “Crud Cruiser” – that travels to cities to collect hazardous waste from March through November.
“We could probably get them here once, maybe twice a year,” Shannon told the council. “Outside of that, citizens can just get a voucher here, go there, prove their residence and use it.”
If they take it to the landfill, they will get turned away, Shannon said.
“You can toss a dried-out paint can, but if it’s still liquid, you can’t dispose of it,” he said. “Insecticides, herbicides, car batteries – it’s all got to go down there.”
Shannon said the City of Bridgeport got a grant a few years ago and accepted hazardous materials for about a year but stopped when the grant ended.
Councilman Jason Wren suggested the city put something in its water bills to let people know the service is available. He moved to approve the agreement and Councilman Jay Davidson seconded.
It passed unanimously.
The center will accept automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners and chemicals, cooking oil, lawn, garden and pool chemicals, light bulbs, medicines, paint and painting supplies.
It will not accept ammunition and explosives, appliances and electronics, building materials, bulk trash and yard waste, butane or propane cylinders, medical waste, tires, asbestos, PCBs or radioactive items.
Business, commercial and industrial waste also cannot be accepted under Texas regulations.
Those taking waste are asked to leave the products in their original, marked containers or label them clearly. Leaking containers should be placed in a second container of like material. Items should be placed securely in the trunk of your car or the bed of your pickup, and those bringing them in are asked to remain in the vehicle and let the staff unload the items.
Participating cities include Arlington, Azle, Bedford, Benbrook, Burleson, Cedar Hill, Cleburne, Colleyville, Crowley, Dalworthington Gardens, Euless, Forest Hill, Glenn Heights, Godley, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Haltom City, Hurst, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Mansfield, Midlothian, North Richland Hills, Oak Leaf, Pantego, Richland Hills, River Oaks, Roanoke, Saginaw, Sherman, Southlake, Stephenville, Trophy Club, Watauga, Waxahachie, Weatherford, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village and White Settlement.
For more information, visit fortworthtexas.gov/env/ecc.