Local residents will have a place to dispose of old paint thinners, leftover paint, used motor oil and other household chemicals when the Lawrence/Douglas County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility opens this summer.
The facility, the 16th of its kind in Kansas, will be open the second Saturday of each month, staffed by 15 volunteers and two people trained in handling household hazardous wastes.
``The real success of the program will be in how people use it,'' said Patricia Marvin, the city's recycling coordinator. ``It's meant to be a facility (for people) to drop off the stuff properly, but the key is not buying too much stuff in the first place.''
The facility will be dedicated with a ceremony and tours from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Douglas County Public Works Yard, 711 E. 23rd.
The 864-square-foot building is equipped with outdoor electric switches, explosion-proof light fixtures and absolutely no indoor drains. Even the concrete walls are coated with recycled paint. Products received at the facility will either be reused, recycled or disposed of properly.
``If something is spilled,'' Marvin said, ``it stays in there.''
The facility will accept dozens of household hazardous wastes, which currently make up 1 percent of the residential waste stream while accounting for 80 percent of potential pollutants, Marvin said.