Stepping up for HHWCD
Oct 26, 2012 | 501 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bradley County residents who traditionally participate in the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day each spring will get a second dose of environment-friendly cleanout Saturday.

By agreement of operating partners like the Bradley County Mayor’s Office, Santek Waste Services, Cleveland Utilities, Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful and the Tri-State Exhibition Center, the ever-growing HHWCD is returning for a second round within the same calendar year.

Using 2012 as a pilot, local leaders are hoping to make the household hazardous waste disposal a biannual occurrence. The program is being funded with host fees paid to the county by Santek, the business contractor that manages the Bradley County Landfill for local government.

Like past events, the collection will take place free of charge to participants at Tri-State from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

HHWCD is a splendid opportunity for area residents to properly dispose of household hazardous wastes. These include items like automotive and marine products, home maintenance and improvement products, home lawn and garden products, electronics such as CPUs, TVs, monitors, printers and keyboards, and miscellaneous items like pool chemicals, photo-processing chemicals, medicines and drugs, aerosols and compressed gas.

Participants who plan to bring items to the collection are asked to adhere to a couple of key reminders, each of which is intended to maximize the event’s efficiency, reduce risk to volunteers during the unloading process and cut down on wait times by shortening lines.

Reminders include:

1. More stringent packaging requirements are now in effect. Wastes must be properly labeled and packaged in cardboard boxes or plastic containers. Empty paint cans will not be accepted because they can be disposed of in regular household waste. Lead-acid batteries and oil should be taken to the Bradley County Landfill because these items are accepted year-round.

2. Gates will close promptly at 1 p.m. Last spring, collections were accepted for more than an hour after gates were closed; this was allowed to accommodate long lines, part of which were caused by inadequate packaging by participants which delayed the unloading process.

While its purpose is to protect the environment, the HHWCD must also maintain proper safety for its volunteers and workers, as well as minimizing wait times for motorists who have conscientiously taken the time to deliver household wastes.

Area residents who participate in HHWCD are making wise choices. With their added assistance of using proper packaging techniques, volunteer safety will not be compromised and traffic flow will be better streamlined.

Cheryl Dunson, event coordinator who wears dual hats for Santek and KAB, said it best when she pointed to the objectives of HHWCD. As has been said, one is to protect the environment; another is to protect the workers who are working to protect the environment.

This biannual initiative is being made possible for all the right reasons by partners who are pitching in with unique resources. Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis is allowing the host fees paid by Santek to be used for financing the program. Santek is providing staff and resources. Cleveland Utilities is stuffing 34,000 fliers into its customers’ monthly statements that provide full details. KAB is staffing on-site volunteers. Tri-State Exhibition Center is providing the logistics; that is, a well-recognized location whose open spaces can keep the traffic flowing.

As with any worthy community endeavor, it takes the work of many — not just of one.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is such an effort.

Questions may be directed to Dunson at 303-7101 or Joanne Maskew, KAB executive director, at 559-3307.

We encourage three key actions related to HHWCD on Saturday:

1. Participate.

2. Arrive early.

3. Package your household materials properly.

The latter is not needless policy. It is a matter of safety.