Keep Bastrop County Beautiful
Consumer Information about Computer Recycling

Recycling Resource Guide

Interactive Matrix to find Recycling Stations

Interactive Matrix to find Recycling Stations

Let’s Keep Bastrop County Clean!

The Cities of Bastrop, Elgin, and Smithville, Bastrop County, and Keep Bastrop County Beautiful, as well as many other organizations and every individual who resides here, are partners in helping to keep Bastrop County clean. On average, it costs about $60 per household to dispose of hazardous waste (HHW) in Bastrop County.  Every two or three years, agencies are awarded grant or other funding to subsidize household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events, but that is clearly not enough to keep up with the problem.

Household Hazardous WasteThis Guidebook is intended to help families find alternative locations to bring their HHW more often, so that people don’t keep these products for years at a time and to reduce the need for huge clean-up events that may not be able to serve everyone who comes, or may not reach everyone who would want to clean out their garages and attics.

Why can’t we throw it in the trash?

Proper disposal of HHW is important not only due to environmental concerns, but also for the personal health and well being of sanitation workers and the public at large. Poisons in the home are dangerous. According to statistics from the National Capital Poison Center:

  • There is one exposure to poison every 14 seconds in the US.
  • More than two million poisonings are reported annually.
  • The majority of poisonings involve everyday household items such as cleaning supplies, medicines, cosmetics and personal care items.
  • 89 percent of all poisonings occur in the home.
  • 75 percent of poisonings are ingestion of a substance.
  • Children and Poison:
    • 53 percent of poisonings occur in children under the age of six.
    • Child poisonings under the age of six represent 2 percent of poison fatalities.

Facts Poison Exposures in the United States (Source: http://www.poison.org/prevent/documents/poison%20stats.pdf)

Proper Management of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is important to the community because it affects:

  • The safety of sanitation workers
  • Costs due to damage of municipal equipment
  • HAZMAT cleanup costs
  • Potential dangers to homeowners
  • Environmental Degradation
  • Economic Development: A clean community signals pride in the community and is good for business!


How can I manage HHW at my house?

Local programs can help you dispose of HHW properly, but you can decrease the HHW you keep in your own home by considering some simple guidelines:

REDUCE the amount of HHW you keep in your house by buying only what you need to do the job. Buying chemicals in bulk may not be saving you money if you do not use all of it. This will also help you avoid a cluttered cabinet of chemicals that you will one day have to get rid of.

For painting projects, know the size of your area and use an online paint calculator to determine how many gallons you should buy.

Think REUSE. If you know a friend, relative, or neighbor who can use unexpired chemicals or paint in good condition with, pass it on! You will save yourself and other in expense and convenience.

(For more information: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/hhw/hhw.html)


Help us keep this information up to date!

If you know of a facility not mentioned here, or if something in this guide changes, please contact Keep Bastrop County Beautiful at info@keepbastropcounty beautiful.org


Additional Information

Household Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Texans (http://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/hhw/hhw.html)

This website provides helpful information for individuals about the household hazardous waste (HHW) program: what is HHW, what can you do with it, and who can accept it?


City of Smithville Scrap Metal Program

Scrap Metal accepted for free: proceeds go to projects like the Veterans Memorial Park, Independence Park, and the new Public Library. You can drop off scrap metal at the Smithville City Yard (1000 MLK Blvd) on Mondays-Thursdays from 8AM-3:30PM or call for appointments (512-237-3282). Periodically, the City schedules Clean Up Saturdays. Pick up in Smithville city limits is possible.


Medical Waste

Non-controlled medications should not be flushed down the toilet, but may be thrown in your trash. Put medications in a sealable bag with coffee grounds or kitty litter to make it undesirable to animals or people and put it in with your regular trash. (For more information: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm107163.pdf)


Disposing of Syringes from Households

(from TCEQ flier GI-418 available at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/gi/gi-418.html)

Syringes (also “sharps” or “needles”) CAN go into the regular trash, but you MUST follow these guidelines:

  • Place needles and syringes in a hard plastic or metal container with a tightly secured lid. DO NOT use see-through plastic containers or any glass. A laundry detergent or bleach bottle makes a great container.
  • Label the container “syringes” or “sharps” or “needles.”
  • Keep the container out of the reach of children and pets.
  • When the container is full, seal it and reinforce its lid with heavy-duty tape.
  • Dispose of the sealed container in the household trash.
  • DO NOT use thin plastics like soda bottles.
  • DO NOT put the container in with any recycling.
  • DO NOT throw loose needles or syringes in the household garbage. Loose needles are a danger to everyone, especially trash collectors because they may cause accidental needlestick injuries that require emergency medical care.
  • REMEMBER: The thicker the wall, the safer the container.


Paint (empty or mostly empty cans)

If your can is less than 1/4 full, remove the lid and place the can in a well-ventilated area. The paint will dry in a few days. Once dry, the can may be thrown in your trash.


City of Austin Resource Recovery: http://austintexas.gov/hhw

Many household hazardous wastes can be brought to the City of Austin Resource Recovery Center, but residents from outside of Austin will have to pay a fee (see  http://austintexas.gov/hhw  for a current schedule of fees). In addition, they offer free chemicals and latex paint to anyone, regardless of residency, although they will limit quantities provided for free.

Free Chemicals at the Reuse Store: Many brand new or slightly used items are brought to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Instead of disposing of them, the facility gives them to people who can use them. You do NOT need to be an Austin resident to get the free goods, although they do limit quantities that may be taken at one time.

Items are free, and may include:

  • Automotive Fluids
  • Cleaning Products
  • Fertilizers
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Solvents
  • Other Household Chemicals

Austin ReBlend Paint: Residents looking to save money when refurbishing their homes now have a free resource – Austin ReBlend paint, made from paint collected at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. You do NOT have to be an Austin resident to get the free paint, although they do limit quantities that may be taken at one time. (http://austintexas.gov/department/austin-reblend )

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Paper Making Arts and Crafts
A couple of kids, Jennifer and Karen, sent us a link to this great web page they found.  It has links to an AMAZING amount of information and resources on ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle paper! Everything from why, where, how it’s done, lots of ideas for reusing paper in Arts and Crafts projects.
Thank you Jennifer and Karen! And we hope that you’ll participate in our annual “Recycle More Art Contest.”

Please use our Recycling Resource Matrix in print form or using our interactive form.