By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Clean Sweep a victim of state budget cuts
Placeholder Image
MONROE - Green County's Clean Sweep program has been canceled due to state budget cuts, Green County ag agent Mark Mayer announced Thursday.

The county has conducted five Clean Sweep Collection programs since 1993, Mayer said. It has collected more than 76,000 pounds of hazardous materials and chemicals from homes and farms. The goal of the program is to make sure the items are disposed of properly or to make sure the items were recycled.

Mayer said Gov. Jim Doyle's state budget changes approved this week eliminated the program. Counties that expected to receive state grants to conduct the program this year were told the grants, although previously approved, would not be available.

"The cuts to this program come as a surprise since the grant funds given to the counties to run collection programs are generated from fees paid by chemical companies that sell products in the state and not from tax levy funds," Mayer said.

Homeowners will have to store hazardous materials and hope for a reinstatement of the program, he added.

Any hazardous material should be placed in a sealed, plastic, 5-gallon bucket filled with an absorbing agent such as kitty litter and stored in a safe place that is out of reach from children. All labels should be left on the container and people should use plastic gloves and goggles whenever they handle hazardous materials.

Farmers, businesses, municipalities and schools that have large amounts of hazardous materials should contact Veolia Environmental Services at (800) 255-5092 to have the materials picked up and disposed. There is a fee for the company's services. Veolia doesn't pick up hazardous materials for homeowners.

Mayer said paint can be placed in the garbage and taken to a landfill as long as the paint has hardened. People with large amounts of paint can buy paint hardeners at many hardware stores. Another option is to pour the paint into a plastic garbage bag filled with kitty litter and letting it dry.

Old computers and monitors are accepted at the Green County landfill between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays free of charge. Old television sets and small fluorescent tubes also can be taken to the landfill. Harris Ace Hardware and Brodhead Home and Farm Supply accept 8-foot fluorescent tubes for recycling.

Mayer encouraged people who want to see the Clean Sweep Collection program reinstated to contact their state representatives.