The first time I heard about a BOPA I had no idea what a BOPA was. Is it a dreaded disease? Or is it a strange animal from some distant jungle? Or maybe some new dance or song the teenagers have dreamed up? Nope, soon I found out it was none of those and only the initials of a recycling event that is held each year in Kingwood. 
BOPA stands for batteries, oils, paints and antifreeze. It is a collection event sponsored by the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and District E Councilman Dave Martin. It is held twice a year to enable residents of Kingwood and other nearby City of Houston residents to responsibly dispose of these items in a convenient manner. It is held at the Kingwood Metro lot on W. Lake Houston Parkway just north of Kingwood Drive. It begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. and is happening on Saturday, April 28.
If you live outside the City of Houston but in Harris County, you are asked to take your hazardous waste products to the county facility on Hahl Road. Unfortunately it is not as convenient, but those are the rules. Talk to your county commissioner if you would like a more convenient drop off location. Here is the web site for the county facility: eng.hctx.net/watershed/hhw_facility.
At the Kingwood BOPA you are asked to enter the Park and Ride lot from the W. Lake Houston Parkway entrance. Weekend recycling takes place at the east side of the lot and residents there for that service are asked to use the back entrance off Rustic Woods. You will be greeted by volunteers to help you navigate to the proper spot to drop off your items. You will not have to get out of your car or truck or to unload the items. The drop off is typically fast and the city workers are very efficient. 
While you are going past the Keep Kingwood Green volunteers and tent at the entrance you can drop off your no longer needed cell or smart phones for recycling. We do get paid by a vendor to recycle those items. Note: We cannot take any other electronics on the 28th. Electronic recycling is always the first Saturday of each month at the same location. The next collection is May 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. We have revised our Local Recycling Guide and you can have one of those if you would like as you pass by. We also will be collecting single-use batteries at our tent. It costs us a dollar a pound to recycle these, so if you can contribute to that cause we would appreciate it. The city will not take these because of the cost and says it is OK to dispose of them in the regular trash. We do believe they should be recycled but can’t afford to pay for the thousands of pounds that are tossed each year. We can’t recycle leaking or damaged batteries, so please do not bring them. 
Another great service offered at the BOPA is the collection of scrap metal and large appliances. Junky Business is always there to take any kind of metal products you may have. Even old electric cords and motors should be recycled. No use to fill the landfill with something that can be remade into another product! If you have a very large appliance and need it picked up at your home in the Kingwood area, Pete will probably come by to pick it up even if you can’t get it to the BOPA. Call him at 832-377-5865.
This year the National Drug Take Back Day is also on April 28. There will be a collection of expired and unused drugs and over-the-counter medicines from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at this same site. The DEA and Houston Police Department will be there to handle this. You can go to their web site to learn more: deadiversion.usdoj.gov.
Finally, only certain items can be accepted at the BOPA. Many hazardous waste products must be taken to the city’s Environmental Service Centers: houstontx.gov/solidwaste/esc. For instance, at the BOPA they can only take water-based or latex paints. You can go to this site to see some of the restrictions and limitations: keepkingwoodgreen.org/bopa-event. 
Why go to the BOPA instead of just putting these items in the trash or down the drain? What goes into the ground or into our water eventually finds its way back into our food and drinking water supply and then into us. Please, recycle it or dispose of it properly or we all will pay the price long range. See you at the BOPA!
 
Comments or questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to our web site at keepkingwoodgreen.org for more information or to ask your questions.
Hal Opperman
Author: Hal OppermanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I grew up in Ohio but, as the saying goes, got to Texas as soon as I could! After graduating from Ohio University with a BBA, I went to work for Humble Oil. The big oil company, now ExxonMobil, moved me around to Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, DC and finally to Houston where I retired after 36 years. Several of us founded Keep Kingwood Green over ten years ago to educate about and advocate for recycling in the Lake Houston area. I was the president of the board of that organization until the beginning of 2017 and remain a board member. Other activities include a large garden at my home in Kingwood and I am also a volunteer at Oak Forest Elementary in Atascocita where the students maintain a large garden. I am the area spokesman for the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association. In 2014, I became a Texas Certified Master Composter and that skill fits in perfectly with my gardening endeavors since composting is a means of recycling. Please send comments or questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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