Our landfill is professionally managed and has plenty of remaining life. Our recycling program continues to grow in numbers, and throughout the year we offer a variety of special events to help our residents dispose of their hard-to-manage wastes such as used motor oil, leftover paint, paint thinner and other chemicals which cannot be dumped into the landfill.
On Oct. 26, the county hosted its second Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in 2013 at the landfill. A total of 483 households disposed of their household toxins free of charge that Saturday. The numbers show that the twice-a-year hazardous waste collection day fills a great need in the community as residents increasingly support the idea of keeping Bradley County clean and green.
A total of 44,274 pounds of household hazardous waste was collected during the event. This included 25,240 pounds of paints, 11,503 pounds of electronics, 2,267 pounds of motor oil, 1,247 pounds of pesticides, 1,140 pounds of solvents, 1,082 pounds of aerosols, 438 pounds of fluorescents, 161 pounds of cylinders and 1,201 pounds of miscellaneous items such as batteries, mercury, acid, medicine and other items. There were no geographic or weight restrictions and residents never had to leave the comfort of their vehicles.
In the past, Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day was paid for by the state of Tennessee, but funding was discontinued three years ago due to the economic crunch. However, because of its importance to Bradley County residents and the environment, county government now pays for the event through its Solid Waste Landfill Revenue. Thanks to good management and our partnership with Santek Environmental, our landfill operator, Bradley County is one of a very few counties in Tennessee with a Landfill Fund. State law allows the county to use these funds for events such as Household Hazardous Waste Day. The total cost of disposing of the collected waste during HHWCD was about $42,000.
Recycling is an important part of the effort to keep Bradley County clean and I’m happy to report that the use of our three drop-off recycling centers is growing.
The landfill center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Peerless Road Center is located behind the Farmer’s Market and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. The Urbane Road Center at the recreation complex is open Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Recycled computers and electronics are only accepted at the Peerless Road Drop-off Center. Monitors and televisions cannot be recycled.
Local governments have the primary role in the operation of recycling programs and I am pleased with the progress the county has shown in several areas of our recycling efforts. Your continued support of the recycling program will help preserve our environment and also extend the life of the Bradley County landfill.
Watch for the “Chipping of the Green,” our Christmas tree recycling program, coming right after Christmas.
Being good stewards of our resources is important. Our environment is one resource that we can’t take for granted. Most residents may not give a second thought to the county’s waste management. It’s just something we take for granted. But it’s comforting to know our solid waste program is being managed professionally and responsibly — not just for now, but for the future.
This program is just another of the many reasons that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best.