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Sun, Aug. 18

The three R's: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Wondering how to dispose of your compact fluorescent light bulbs, paint cans, batteries and other household items considered to be hazardous materials?

Residents of the tri-cities and the county can get rid of all their hazardous household materials for free from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Prescott Transfer Station at 2800 Sundog Ranch Road in Prescott.

Stormy Gormley, Prescott accounting tech, said that on Oct. 12 the city will accept hazardous household materials including paint, paint thinner, paint remover, pesticides, used oil, household batteries and automobile batteries, automobile tires, antifreeze, compact fluorescent bulbs, refrigerators and smoke detectors.

She said the transfer station normally doesn't accept most of these items. In October 2006, she said, the city had its first hazardous household materials collection day. That one cost the city about $32,000, so Prescott didn't hold one in 2007.

However, this year Prescott got a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality for this collection day. Residents from Prescott, Yavapai County, Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humboldt will be able to bring their items to the Transfer Station.

In 2006, she said, Chino Valley participated, but decided not to this year. So residents of Chino Valley won't be able to bring in their hazardous household materials and get rid of them for free.

Gormley said there are ways Prescott residents can treat some of the hazardous household materials so they can be dumped in the garbage.

With paint, she said people can leave the lid off and let the paint dry up or mix it with sand or kitty litter to dry up. Once that happens it can be disposed of in one's garbage.

James Stevens, a Patriot Disposal customer service representative, said they tell their customers the same thing.

Gormley thought that for one's compact fluorescent bulbs, Ikea in Phoenix is the only store accepting the old bulbs. However, there are tri-city locales as well: The Ace Hardware stores in Prescott Valley and Chino Valley take old compact fluorescent light bulbs back, as do both the Prescott and the new Prescott Valley Home Depot stores.

"Since there is so little mercury in them, people can just double-bag them and put them in their garbage," Gormley said. General Electric on its website also recommends placing the burned- out compact fluorescent light bulb in a plastic bag and sealing it before putting it in the trash.

Waste Management has an Order Recycling Kits icon on its website - www.wm.com - that people can go to and order pre-paid recycling kits for compact fluorescents, dry cell batteries and household straight 4-foot fluorescents.

As for aerosol cans, she said people should empty them and then throws them out with their garbage.

Gormley said people can drop off their old car batteries at Budget Batteries at 324 S. Montezuma St., Suite D, in Prescott. The firm recycles them. She recommends people throw common household batteries in the garbage, unless they are rechargeable. People should take the rechargeable batteries to Batteries Batteries Batteries at 609 Miller Valley Road in Prescott.

Gormley said before people can get rid of their old refrigerators, they must have a licensed professional remove the Freon. Then, residents can get rid of them at the Prescott Transfer Station for $3. They must bring a copy of their Freon removal slip.

For automobile tires, people can take them to the county tire yard on Sundog Ranch Road to have them recycled.

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