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Wednesday, July 29, 2020
grease recycle photoColumbus Water Works, Keep Columbus Beautiful, and the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department are coming together to hold another Grease Recycling and Pharmaceutical Disposal Event! On Saturday, August 8, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. we will be at Big Lots Parking Lot on Sidney Boulevard or Roses Parking Lot on Macon Road, collecting used cooking grease and old or unused medications. Please join us in our efforts to protect the environment by bringing your used cooking grease and old medications for recycling and proper disposal.

The recycling of old medications and used cooking grease are a part of our initiative to be good stewards of the environment. By collecting used cooking grease, we help to prevent the clogging of sewer lines which can be costly as well as provide a supplemental power source for our wastewater treatment plant.

The Muscogee County Sheriff ’s Department will be collecting expired/unused medications for proper disposal. If you cannot attend the event, you can bring your old medications to the following locations Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
  • Government Center (100 10th Street, 4th Floor)
  • Citizens Services Center (3111 Citizens Way, Ground Floor)
Please note: At this time, we do NOT accept syringes or needles at the event or drop off locations.

If you can’t make it to the event, there are also eleven (11) stationary drop-off sites located throughout the Columbus area. These sites are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Thank you for your assistance in keeping cooking grease out of the sewer lines.

To view the eleven stationary drop-off sites, click here.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

All staff and volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves. We will also be practicing social distancing as practical. We ask for your help as well in our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. If you are feeling sick or may have been exposed to the virus, we ask that you do not personally drop off your items. If you are unable to send someone else to drop off your items, we encourage you take advantage of the drop off locations.  


We ask you to please stay inside of your vehicle while dropping off your used cooking grease or expired medications. If you do get out of your car, please wear a mask. We want to try and keep everyone involved, participants and volunteers, as safe as possible during the event. 

To learn more about the grease recycling event, please click here.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020
riverwalkHot weather has reared its head in Columbus and people are finding relief in the Chattahoochee River. Many Columbus residents spend weekday afternoons and weekends on the river to cool off and to have fun outdoors. It is imperative to remember to take precautions when swimming and participating in water sports while in the Chattahoochee River. Below are a few tips on how to stay safe in the river.
  1. Know the water temperature: Cold water can be hazardous. While it may be hot outside, water below the surface may be colder than the temperature outside. Keep the water temperature in mind, as the National Center for Cold Water Safety reports that hypothermia can set in quickly.
  2. Wear a life jacket: Inexperienced swimmers and small children should always wear life jackets around water. Even the most experienced swimmers should wear life jackets when swimming in the Chattahoochee River as currents may be stronger than expected. According to the CDC there are on average 10 deaths per day due to unintentional drowning. 
  3. Never swim alone: Swimming should always happen when a lifeguard is present. The YMCA recommends swimming in groups for safety. Be sure to let other people know when you will be swimming and where you will be swimming in case of an emergency. 
  4. Stay energized: Take snack breaks and stay hydrated while you’re actively swimming or rafting on the river. Staying hydrated can help you stay energized, alert, and able to respond to any potential emergencies.  
  5. Know your limits: Be familiar with your limits. Swimming in open water or the river is not the time to take risks. There may be fast currents or temperature changes in the water to account for. If you do not know your limits, think about starting slow and staying close to the shoreline.
  6. Wear protective equipment: When swimming, rafting or kayaking, wear protective equipment. Raft Masters recommends always wearing a helmet and life jacket when rafting. Life jackets are also recommended when swimming and kayaking as well. There are hidden surfaces and rocks in the river and protective equipment is necessary for safety in case of an emergency. 
  7. Avoid alcohol and drugs: Stay sober. When swimming or playing in open water, you'll need a clear head to respond to changes in the environment adequately. Alcohol dulls your senses and slows your reaction time, making it difficult to react to changes in the environment.

While you are cooling down from the heat, please use these safety tips when around the water!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020
When the weather is right, there is an endless number of outside activities to do. The activities can range from family picnics, working on your tan, or even just relaxing on the porch. Unfortunately, too much fun in the sun can have extremely dangerous effects. Excessive heat exposure can lead to dehydration, that can cause multiple problems such as cramps, heat exhaustion, or even a heat stroke. Below are some tips to stay healthy and avoid health problems that can occur due to the heat.

What to Wear
  1. Light Colored Clothes: Dark clothing absorbs more heat than light colored clothes. Try to wear more white, yellow, pink, and light blue rather than black, gray, or dark blue.
  2. Sunglasses: Sunglasses not only look great, but they also prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from hurting your eyes.
  3. Hats: A wide-rimmed hat or a baseball cap can help prevent ultraviolet (UV) rays from hitting sensitive skin on your face and protect the skin from early wrinkles.
What to Drink
  1. Water: Drink water throughout the day to prevent exhaustion and dehydration. The heat makes you sweat, which means you need to replenish the fluids you’re losing.
  2. Juice: If you are not a huge fan of constantly drinking water throughout the day, add a few cups of all-natural juice. Juice without added sugar will provide hydration as well as important nutrients.
What to Eat
  1. Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain high water content and are often easy for bodies to digest. Light dishes that include salads and fresh fruits will help you feel hydrated.
  2. Low-Fat Meats: It takes longer to digest fat. Try low-fat meats to avoid the extra strain on your body and keep the salt-level in your body low.
  3. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can help you sweat even more during the summer, which will cool your body down. The cooling of your body will help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
We hope you take these tips into consideration during all your summer activities. Most importantly, stay hydrated and have fun!

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Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Pet hydrationJuly is national pet hydration month! Proper hydration is just as important for humans as it is for pets. Did you know water makes up roughly 60 percent of an adult human body and roughly 80 percent of an animal's body? Proper hydration is critical for both humans and pets to avoid serious health concerns.

In fact, pets need approximately one ounce of water for each pound of body weight. Which means a 10-pound cat would need to drink 10 ounces of water every day and a 70-pound Chocolate Labrador would need 70 ounces.

To help you provide for your furry friends with enough water, we have collected a few tips.
  1. Make sure your pet always has access to water: Your pet should always have access to water to drink. If you leave for any period of time, leave enough water so that your pet will not run out before you get back. This is especially important on hot summer days. 
  2. Change your pet’s water frequently and wash the water bowl: Fresh water is important to keep your pet hydrated and healthy. Wash the water container every several days (more if needed) because bacteria can grow quickly in the container due to moisture.
  3. Wet the pet food: Dry pet foods do not provide a source of hydration for your pet. You can add water to pet food and re-hydrate the food, or you can buy canned wet food for your pet.
  4. Provide a place to cool off: Pets heat up quickly in the sun, especially those with dark coats. When your pet is outside, even if it’s only for a short walk, make sure there is access to a nice shady spot to cool off. 
For more tips on how to keep your pet hydrated, click here. Let’s work together to keep our furry friends hydrated!

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Wednesday, July 01, 2020
sunscreen Protecting our skin from the sun is very important, which means wear sunscreen. There are a lot of lotions and sprays to choose from which can make it hard to tell which sunblock will help prevent sunburns and protect your skin from damaging exposure which can lead to skin cancer. Below are some tips to help you select the best sunscreen and how to properly apply it for maximum protection.
  1. Get UVA and UVB protection: Always buy sunscreen that provides both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB) protection. With the inclusion of protection of both UVA rays and UVB rays, you are protected from sunburns, skin damage, and skin cancer.
  2. Choose sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher: Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect the skin and avoid sun damage.
  3. Apply sunscreen early: It can take up to 30 minutes for your skin to absorb sunscreen. So, when you are going to be out in the sun, be sure to apply the sunscreen early and apply a generous amount. Many people do not apply enough sunscreen to be properly protected. The recommended application is approximately one ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a golf ball) for each part of your body exposed to the sun.
  4. Reapply often: Sunscreen should be reapplied every 1-2 hours, and varies by the type of sunscreen and your activity.  Please reapply as directed on your sunscreen packaging. Keep in mind, water can make sunscreen less effective and can intensify the sun’s rays that could cause a greater burn.
  5. Don’t rely solely on sunscreen: You can give your skin even more protection by wearing:

    • Lip balm that includes SPF 30 or higher
    • Hat with a large brim
    • Sunglasses with UV-protection
    • Long sleeved shirt or special sun protective clothing
Hopefully, these tips will help you select the best product for you and your family. Please enjoy the summer weather and remember these tips to be properly protected from UV rays.

Stay safe and have fun!

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