Leaving these chemicals or household hazardous wastes around the house can pose a threat to your children and pets. But the improper disposal of these products can contaminate groundwater, drinking water and soil.
They should not simply be poured down a drain, emptied into the backyard or thrown away in the trash. The best solution is to bring them to the Tri-State Exhibition Center on Saturday, April 7, during the annual collection of household hazardous waste. Crews will be on hand between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to assist you.
The average household contains between three to 10 gallons of waste materials which include many things that you may be storing right now in your garage, basement, bathroom or kitchen. Some items, like paint thinner or old car batteries are pretty obvious. Others, such as polishes, insecticides, mercury thermometers and glues may be overlooked. These materials are too dangerous to simply be placed in a garbage can. Many of these items may be flammable.
Products such as pool chemicals and bleaches can react violently with other materials and explode or produce toxic gases. Lawn and garden or agricultural chemicals can be toxic if inhaled or ingested and may cause cancer, birth defects or other serious medical problems. All of these items can be disposed of properly at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection site.
This year the collection site is also accepting electronic items such as TVs, monitors, printers, keyboards and CPUs.
This annual one-day collection event is open to all Bradley County residents and is jointly sponsored by the Bradley County mayor’s office, Santek Environmental, Cleveland Utilities, Tri-State Exhibition Center and Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful.
Cheryl Dunson and her staff at Santek always do a great job of organizing the event. This year Santek paid for the printing of 34,500 HHW fliers. Cleveland Utilities helps get the word out by placing the fliers in the envelopes with your utility bills. KAB always sends volunteers to Tri-State to help keep things running smoothly and assist with data collection.
In the past, Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day was paid for by the state of Tennessee, but funding was discontinued two years ago due to the economic crunch. However, because of its importance to county residents and the environment, Bradley County government now pays for the event through its Solid Waste Landfill Revenue. Thanks to good management and our partnership with Santek Environmental, 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 is expected to be about $50,000.
For a list of Items in the household hazardous waste category, look for the HHW flier in your CU electric bill or log on to www.recyclemore.com. Enter the phrase “What is HHW” into the search box. You may be surprised at what you find.
This is a good time to empty your garage or basement of those unused and unwanted products, and safely rid your home of potentially toxic waste. Your efforts will also help preserve the Bradley County Landfill while reducing contaminants that seep into our groundwater and surface water.
Some items considered to be household hazardous waste require special care when disposed of. The guidelines include: Leave the products in their original containers, re-label containers that have lost their label, do not mix two or more products in one container, and place the items in a cardboard box, preferably lined with newspaper or plastic.
There is no charge for dropping off your household hazardous waste on Saturday. It just requires a little time and effort. Disposing of these chemicals properly is essential to maintaining a safe home and environment.
Bradley County is beautiful … let’s keep it that way.