Richland County’s huge, annual community recycling event is right around the corner.
Residents can drop off their unwanted household junk ― from batteries and light bulbs to cooking oil and paint — at Richland Recycles Day, which is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at the S.C. State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia. This is the second year the event is on a Saturday, making it more convenient for people to take part. Residents can load up their vehicles and enter the fairgrounds through Gate 12, where staff will direct them to the appropriate drop off station. Workers will unload every acceptable item, then show drivers to the exit — residents don’t have to step out of their cars.
“We’re making the event as easy, accessible and welcoming as possible for folks,” said Art Braswell, manager of Richland County Solid Waste & Recycling. “We’re trying to keep as much recyclable material and hazardous material as possible out of landfills.”
Items accepted this year include tires, paint, fertilizer, batteries, mattresses, scrap metal, bikes, home electronics, stereos, computers, household chemicals and fluorescent light bulbs. Lawnmowers free of oil and gas will be accepted, as well as empty propane tanks. Paper shredding will also be available, and the S.C. Department of Agriculture will accept pesticides from all S.C. residents ― all other material drop off is for Richland County residents only.
At last year’s event, Richland County collected an estimated 170,000 pounds of material, including 55,000 pounds of electronics, 48,600 pounds of paint and 13,200 pounds of hazardous household waste.
Prior to Saturday’s collection event, an educational component of Richland Recycles Day will be held at the fairgrounds on Friday. More than 300 local students will learn about the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing through hands-on demonstrations and experiments. Several local and regional environmental organizations will lead the presentations.