As Rick Messere pulls up to the sheet-metal building tucked around a hidden corner on Haley Road near Shelby Farms, a group of men in bright yellow vests approaches his car. A few are pushing a plastic cart.
Messere pushes the button to pop his trunk. As the vest-wearing crew unloads about 30 cans of paint from his trunk, Messere rolls down his window.
"Do you take old batteries?" he asks.
"Yes, we do!" replies Lisa Williams with the Shelby County Roads and Bridges Department.
Messere unloaded three year's worth of mostly empty paint cans and some old batteries on opening day at the Shelby County Hazardous Waste Facility Tuesday morning. He was one of about 60 county residents who took advantage of the center's first day in business.
The center takes the place of the county's annual hazardous waste collection event. Items such as paint cans, automotive fluids, compact florescent lightbulbs, and pool chemicals are collected at the site and shipped off for proper disposal. They'll even accept electronics, like computers and cell phones.
The center, which is funded by a combination of public and private funds, and is open every Tuesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It's located at 6305 Haley Rd.
Acceptable items: aerosol spray cans, automotive fluids, anti-freeze, motor oil, batteries, oven and toilet cleaners, adhesives, stains and varnishes, electronics, cell phones, flammable liquids, drain cleaners, fluorescent tubes, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, paint, pool chemicals, moth balls, insect repellent, mercury, and thermostats.
-- Bianca Phillips