GREENSBURG — Because of the overwhelming community response to Tox-a-Way Day combined with an opportunity for those participating to “give back,” Decatur County Recycling is adding a second of Tox-a-Way Day to their yearly schedule. It has been announced they will host one such event in the early spring and another in the fall. Both will take place at the Decatur County Fairgrounds.
“It was just a great thing for us to start because so many people have made substantial donations as they bring us their recyclables,” said Decatur County Recycling Executive Director Brittani Saunders. “I think we get busy and forget about all the fundraisers going on in town, so this gives people an opportunity to get rid of their electronics and make a donation at the same time. It’s just convenient to many people.”
Saunders admits that during the first year of a combined Tox-a-Way/Giving Back program, people were unaware of the new opportunity to conveniently donate to a cause. Even still, she estimated that the lowest any charity made was $300.
“That’s an amazing donation for just a two hour time!” she said.
But, during the 2019 event, Saunders said all charities involved made more than $600, a substantial sum for most local non-profits.
“Last year was very awesome. I was amazed at just how giving people are in this community!” Saunders said.
This year’s Tox-a-Way events are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 18 and Sept. 12.
“So many times I get calls that people are doing their spring cleaning. I know that I clean in the spring, but then I’ll clean again in the fall,” Saunders said. “I don’t want people to have to hold on to everything until fall. [The fall event] will hit right after the summer’s over. People can get rid of any leftover chemicals they used that summer in their pools; when they’ve painted and now have half cans of unused paint. It just makes good sense, especially considering how last fall’s Tox-a-Way went.”
Saunders said the final Tox-a-Way in 2019 netted 86,000 more pounds of recyclables than in 2018.
“It was one of the biggest single days of any of the Tox-a-Way days since it started in the ‘90s,” she said.
Saunders credits much of the success her organization has enjoyed to having a solid and involved board of directors. As any non-profit director knows, without an engaged board that supports the staff and makes actual contributions to the organization, the mission statement is meaningless.
“We are very lucky to have a great board of directors, a great advisory council, and great volunteers,” she said. “They are people who care about our mission of reducing waste and spreading the word of putting hazardous waste where it belongs, not just throwing it out alongside the highway.”
Anyone who has ever used a Tox-a-Way collection to get rid of toxic waste has likely noticed the virtual army of volunteers involved in the process. Those are the board members, the advisory board, and the volunteers about which Saunders speaks.
“Everyone is there helping and trying to help the events go smoothly and answer questions. We want to make sure it stays totally convenient for everyone,” Saunders said.
The Decatur County Solid Waste Board of Directors includes Jerome Buening, Chairman/County Commissioner; Joyce Brindley, Vice-Chair/Town Council of Westport; Darren Covington, Board member; Vietta Mckenzie, Secretary-Treasurer/ City Council; Joshua Marsh, Mayor of Greensburg; Rick Nobbe, County Commissioner; Mark Koors, County Commissioner; Kenny Hooten, Decatur County Council, and Brittani Saunders, Executive Director/Controller/Educator.