Who knew it would be this simple? I had six years of dried-up paint cans, outdated rat and bug poison, assorted varnishes and caulking tubes, and even a bag of concrete that had hardened, and I wanted to get rid of it. The county’s home chemical collection center, near Plano Road and LBJ, took care of everything in less than five minutes.

Seriously. I loaded the car, drove over when it opened on Saturday morning, pulled into line (similar to an airport rental car drop-off), unlatched the tailgate, and the workers had everything out of the car before I finished filling out the paperwork.

The center is free to Dallas residents; bring ID and proof of residency (like a water bill). The hours are bit tricky – it’s only open a couple of Saturdays a month and closed Monday, Friday, and Sunday. But who can can argue with the results?