Douglas County residents have four hours Saturday to properly dispose of old paint or other household chemicals.
Only a 2,000-degree kiln can destroy what recycling coordinator Pat Marvin calls ticking time bombs in garages across the county.
The time bombs to which she refers are chemicals that sit barely used. They are known collectively as household hazardous waste.
"A lot of these things are the very poisons that 3-year-olds get into," she said.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Household Hazardous Waste Facility will begin taking such products from county residents Saturday. What can't be used or recycled will be hauled to one of two incinerators to meet a fiery end.
The facility has a $29,000 budget to dispose of materials. The recycling office is looking for volunteers.
The first priority is to put the "waste" to use. For example, old paint will be likely the most common chemical brought to the center. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Inc. or Douglas County Senior Services can use the paint, Marvin said.
Aptus Inc., a Lakeville, Minn.-based company, will haul unusable waste to a processing center in Minnesota. What can't be recovered will be burned in incinerators built specifically to destroy hazardous wastes, said Bruce Burniece, who oversees household hazardous waste programs for Aptus.
The incinerators are in Coffeyville and Aragonite, Utah.