Oct. 7 event takes aim at household hazardous waste, document shredding

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Staff Writer
Posted 10/1/17

Bradley County’s fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is slated for Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Bradley County Justice Center.

The event, which takes place from 8 a.m. to noon, will …

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Oct. 7 event takes aim at household hazardous waste, document shredding

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Bradley County’s fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is slated for Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Bradley County Justice Center.

The event, which takes place from 8 a.m. to noon, will allow Bradley County residents to dispose of dangerous household chemicals and the like at no direct cost to them.

In addition to providing hazardous waste disposal, organizers of the event have also partnered with Cleveland’s Better Business Bureau office to provide free document shredding services.

“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,” said Cheryl Dunson, HHWCD coordinator and executive vice president of marketing for Santek Waste Services, LLC. “By offering both services, we’re hoping we’ll increase participation and awareness about this worthwhile event.”

Residents are limited to three bags or boxes of documents, and shredding will take place until noon or whenever the shredding vehicle reaches capacity.

“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 said. “We’re thankful to Cooke’s Food Store, Corptek and Shred-it for allowing us to offer this service to local residents.”

Sponsored twice a year by the Bradley County government, HHWCD provides residents with a no-cost opportunity to rid their homes of toxic undesirables that have outlived their use or purpose.

Items accepted include paints, pesticides, fertilizers, solvents, cleaners, medicines, aerosols, pool chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, old computers and television sets.

Dunson said there are certain items which will not be accepted. For example, empty paint cans are not hazardous and can be placed in household trash. Tires and microwaves are also not hazardous, and are accepted year round at the Bradley County Landfill. Waste oils and lead-acid batteries are also accepted at no cost at the Bradley County Landfill throughout the year.

“On average, a HHWCD can cost up to $50,000, so anything we can do to minimize the acceptance of inappropriate materials minimizes the cost to Bradley County,” Dunson said.

In addition to Santek, Bradley County and the Better Business Bureau, other sponsors include Cleveland Utilities, which mailed 35,000 informational flyers to its residential customers about the event, and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department which provides the location and inmate labor to help unload vehicles. The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club is a new sponsor this year and has adopted the events as a club service project.

Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful is also promoting the event, as not disposing of hazardous waste properly has the potential to hurt the environment.

“It is just not appropriate to dump some of these things — or even pour them down a sink or toilet,” said Joanne Maskew, executive director of the local KAB chapter. “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.” 

Maskew pointed out the event is perhaps the easiest way county residents to get rid of household hazardous waste in a safe manner. She added people will be on hand to unload people’s vehicles for them and direct them to different drop-off stations.

Residents are encouraged to package their items in sturdy, well-marked boxes to prevent leakage, and to protect volunteers and workers on site. Documents can be combined in plastic bags or boxes.

Dunson said out-of-county waste will not be accepted since Bradley County is footing the bill for the event. No commercial or agribusiness waste will be accepted, since the event is meant for local residents looking to dispose of household hazardous waste.

Residents planning to participate are encouraged to arrive early and remain patient.

“Our volunteers and contractors work as quickly as possible to unload vehicles and segregate materials, but our primary focus is on safety,” Dunson said. “The lines usually move pretty quickly, but it often depends on how materials are loaded because it impacts the process by which they’re unloaded.”

Last spring, almost 500 residents took advantage of HHWCD, and organizers are anticipating another successful event.

For more information on the event, contact Dunson at 423-303-7107.

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christy.armstrong@clevelandbanner.com

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