Monroe thinks green for a day

Ouachita Parish received a little spring cleaning.

Ouachita Green, a non-pro t organization that consists of Keep Ouachita Parish, Keep Monroe and Keep West Monroe Beautiful, held their annual Household Hazardous Waste Day Saturday morning at Brown Stadium. e event was started in 2010, after the organization received a cooperative grant from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

“It absolutely benefits the city. It keeps materials out of the land fill, prevents fires in homes and cleans up homes,” said Kelby Neal, president of Ouachita Green. “It’s very popular.”

Residences in the parish signed in at a parking lot entrance and drove their cars throughout the multiple marked sections of the parking lot to dispose their waste.

According to Neal, the organization had stations for used tires, scrap metal, grade one and two plastics, paint, cardboard, electronics, automotive fluids, household cleaners and old prescriptions.

Ouachita Valley Credit Union presented Ouachita residences with a new service that allowed residences to shred any sensitive documentations they no longer needed.

Stuart Hodnett, the Ouachita Green coordinator, said that over 500 participants came to the event to dispose their materials. 

“We want to keep all this hazardous waste out of the water or streams, Bayou DeSiard, Ouachita River and out of the environment,” Hodnett said.

After the event, the material is all recycled or properly disposed.

Neal said that 90 percent of the materials collected will be recycled and the other 10 percent are considered hazardous materials and will either have to go to incineration or some other form of disposal.

Apart from Ouachita Green members, volunteers also contributed to the event.

According to Neal, at least 50 volunteers from the city signed up.

Students from the ULM Chemistry department and Toxicology eld helped recycle at the paint station, dumping old paint into a barrel for

Alawna Wyre, a senior toxicology major, said this was her first time participating in the event, and she likes doing community service.

“We’re bettering lives and some don’t even know it,” Wyre said. “If people were to just dump this into their environment, they would cause many dangerous things to happen. This stuff is hazardous and corrosive.”

Aside from receiving bonus points for their participation, many of the students said they came because they truly care.