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Community efforts helped make it a Clean Sweep
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The recent Clean Sweep Hazardous Collection program for Green County residents was a big success, thanks to the combined efforts of the Green County Board of Supervisors, several county departments, municipalities and towns who all stepped up to the plate to make it happen despite the loss of state funding that had been approved for the project. These groups realized the upfront costs of properly disposing of hazardous chemicals is much cheaper than the cost of cleaning up contaminated groundwater, or worse yet, an accidental poisoning of a child exposed to these stored hazardous materials.

Thanks to the Green County Landfill, UW-Extension, Health, Emergency Management, Land and Water Conservation Departments, and the Monroe City Streets Department who all made unplanned contributions from their budgets to help absorb some of project costs. These contributions along with financial assistance received from the Green County Board of Supervisors, the Solid Waste Board and the Towns of Brooklyn and Spring Grove made it possible for us to serve everyone who wanted to participate in the program.

The Clean Sweep Collection gathered more than 11,000 pounds of hazardous materials that were being stored in homes, garages, schools, farm buildings and businesses in Green County. The list of collected items included many highly toxic chemicals such as DDT (banned since 1968), potassium cyanide, asbestos, lead paint, nitric acid, and a surprising 88 pounds of elemental mercury!

I want to thank Boy Scout Troop 115 for assisting with Saturday's on-site surveys. I also want to extend our appreciation to Cousin's Subs, Jimmy John's, Walmart and Kwik-Trip for their donations of food and refreshments for our volunteers and workers during the programs. A special thanks also goes to the Monroe Street Department and the Town of Brooklyn for offering their facilities for collection sites.

The final and largest thank you goes out to the 200 county residents who took the time to bring in their unwanted and outdated chemicals to be safely disposed of. More than 87,000 pounds of hazardous chemicals have been safely removed from Green County schools, homes and farms through these collection programs over the past 11 years. The proper disposal of these hazardous chemicals reduces the likelihood of these toxic chemicals leaking into our groundwater and also reduces the potential for accidental exposure of these chemicals to young children.