HHWCD joins forces with BBB Saturday

Posted 10/4/17

An unlikely partnership has surfaced to afford Cleveland and Bradley County residents a unique opportunity to protect the environment, as well as their personal identities.

We speak of the …

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HHWCD joins forces with BBB Saturday

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An unlikely partnership has surfaced to afford Cleveland and Bradley County residents a unique opportunity to protect the environment, as well as their personal identities.

We speak of the biannual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day and the new Better Business Bureau office in Cleveland.

The former, which is the well recognized HHWCD, will continue to provide area residents with the chance to safely discard of household hazardous wastes. The latter, whose BBB acronym is just as recognizable, will be on hand to provide free shredding of personal documents and paperwork. And both will be provided at no cost to local users.

It’s all happening Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, in the parking lot at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

Cheryl Dunson, executive vice president of Santek Waste Services who has coordinated the HHWCD since its inception, credited the BBB’s participation to a suggestion by Lisa Geren who heads up the local consumer-protection office.

“We were approached by Lisa Geren with the Better Business Bureau about combining efforts to offer residents a one-stop drop-off point for the collection of household toxins and the destruction of sensitive documents,” Dunson told the Cleveland Daily Banner in an interview that was first published in Sunday’s edition.

She added, “By offering both services, we’re hoping we’ll increase participation and awareness about this worthwhile event.”

Last spring’s HHWCD event attracted about 500 participants. It’s a good number, but in truth recent participation has slowed. Dunson and Geren believe the addition of the document-shredding amenity could very well attract an even larger audience.

Geren believes it’s all about maximizing community services in a world where individuals face more threats than ever before.

“In today’s world where we hear and read about identity theft on a daily basis, the free shredding of sensitive documents ensures personal protection against such crimes,” Geren told our newspaper. “We’re thankful to Cooke’s Food Store, Corptek and Shred-it for allowing us to offer this service to local residents.”

Both assessments are spot on.

For years now, Cleveland and Bradley County residents have been given the chance to safely dispose of unsafe household toxins. The HHWCD was already a great program; now, it’s getting a little greater thanks to BBB’s involvement.

On average, an HHWCD event costs about $50,000, meaning that program organizers and sponsors — namely, Santek, Bradley County government, Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful, Cleveland Utilities, the BCSO, and now BBB and Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club — must assure the program is operated as effectively, and efficiently, as possible.

For those planning to participate Saturday, the same rules apply.

Items accepted include paints, pesticides, fertilizers, solvents, aerosols, pool chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, old computers and TVs.

Some items cannot be accepted. A few examples include empty paint cans which are not considered hazardous so they can be placed in household trash. Others are tires and microwaves which are accepted year-round at the Bradley County Landfill. Waste oils and lead-acid batteries also cannot be accepted at the HHWCD event, but they can be taken to the landfill throughout the year.

Why drop off household hazardous wastes to Saturday’s event? Joanne Maskew, KAB executive director, probably said it best.

“It is just not appropriate to dump some of these things — or even pour them down a sink or toilet,” Maskew cautioned. “If hazardous waste goes into the ground or the sewers, it doesn’t just stay there. It contaminates our properties and water supplies, and it can hurt our wildlife.”

As with past HHWCD events, we offer these reminders:

• Package disposables in sturdy cardboard boxes, label them properly and consider lining the boxes with plastic or old newspapers if possible.

• Documents for shredding will be limited to three bags or boxes.

• Arrive early.

• Remain patient; volunteers are working as rapidly, and as safely, as possible.

Questions should be directed to Dunson at 423-303-7107.

We encourage area residents to participate. It’s the right thing to do. It’s also the responsible thing to do.

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