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In the News

Lake Travis center provides regional hazardous waste options

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A household hazardous waste facility in western Travis County has created a regional solution to costly annual collection events. The facility is helping six communities properly dispose of hazardous waste while reducing disposal cost, eliminating long wait times for residents, providing more collection times and deterring harmful illegal dumping.

The Lake Travis Regional Re-use and Recycling Center (LTRRRC) opened for its first household hazardous waste collection event on June 10, 2015. At that event, residents from 95 area households visited the facility to dispose of household hazardous waste. They dropped off 1,795 pounds of paint, 204 pounds of pesticides, 450 pounds of flammable solids and many other items. Two other events, one in September and one in December, experienced similar participation. The center is opened quarterly for the residents living in the cities of Lakeway and Bee Cave, The Village of the Hills, the Hurst Creek and Lakeway municipal utility districts and the Travis County Water Control and Improvement District No. 17.

“Participation from the community is going very well,” said Julie Oakley, Lakeway finance director, who helped start the facility. “We have been able to handle the flow of citizens coming to the center. The community has been very happy with the service, and we are accomplishing our goals.”

By increasing the frequency of collection events, the facility gives more residents greater access to proper disposal methods for chemicals and products that are harmful to people and the environment.

Before the center opened, the six communities participated in annual events with an attendance so abundant that cars and trucks stretched a mile long on Ranch-to-Market 620; sometimes residents were turned away.  And, instead of residents storing harmful chemicals for a year waiting for a collection event, this allows routine disposal.

Ken May, CAPCOG Regional Services Director, explained that a 2012-13 CAPCOG solid waste grant helped offset the six communities’ cost for opening the facility. The grant supported its initial construction, employee training and equipment purchases. LTRRRC met a number of the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan goals by encouraging household hazardous waste collection, alternatives to managing special types of waste and creation of a regional permanent facility.

CAPCOG solid waste grant funds have continued to support annual household hazardous waste events throughout the region, May added, and resident participation has continued to grow at such events which is great for disposal efforts but has caused many collections to exceed their budgets.

Because the LTRRRC has conducted more routine collections, planning budgets have become more consistent. The facility saves money because staff bundles the materials instead of a contractor. Contracting regularly scheduled shipping disposal trips and the ability to re-use certain items like latex paint also saves money.

Three more collection events at the facility are currently scheduled for fiscal year 2016 — March 2, June 1, and Sept. 7. The center is located at 3207 Neidhardt Drive, behind Lake Travis Fire Rescue Station 601.

> Learn more about the Lake Travis Regional Re-use and Recycling Center.
> Discover the CAPCOG Solid Waste Planning Program.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant Program.

The LTRRRC will accept: 

  • Household products — cleaning products, drain cleaners, oven cleaning solvents, degreasers, polishers, pool chemicals, household batteries, mercury thermometers, gas grill propane tanks; 
  • Paint products — latex and oil-based paints, spray paints, preservatives, strippers, etc.; or, 
  • Automotive products — antifreeze, car batteries, oil, oil filters, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc. 
  • Accepted materials must come in their original containers for transport. 

The center will not take: 

  • Asbestos products — including linoleum tiles containing asbestos from older homes; 
  • Industrial waste — anything from a business; 
  • Medical waste — needles, prescriptions, etc.; 
  • Ammunition or explosives — fireworks, dynamite, etc.; 
  • Radioactive waste — smoke detectors, etc.; 
  • Compressed gas cylinders — except for gas grill propane tanks which are accepted; 
  • Tires; 
  • Appliances — small or large; or, 
  • Technology products — computers, printers, televisions, speakers, surround sound, other electronic equipment.

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