Saturday’s HHWCD event is a rare opportunity
by D. GARY DAVIS, Bradley County Mayor
Feb 26, 2013 | 614 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spring is just three weeks away and it’s time for a little countywide spring cleaning. This Saturday is the day set aside for the biannual Bradley County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Crews will be available at the Tri-State Exhibition Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to assist you in disposing of your household hazardous waste.

This 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. Please mark your calendars and plan to take advantage of this opportunity to rid your home of chemicals that need to be disposed of properly.

The average household contains between 3 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, such as paint thinner or car batteries, are pretty obvious, but there are many others that may be overlooked such as polishes, insecticides, mercury thermometers and glues. These materials are too dangerous to be simply poured down the drain or placed in a garbage can.

Some household chemicals such as gasoline, thinners, lighter fluid, glues and adhesives can catch fire. Others, such as pool chemicals and bleaches, can react violently with other materials and explode or produce toxic gases. Many, such as lawn and garden or agricultural chemicals, can be toxic if inhaled or ingested and may cause cancer, birth defects or other serious medical problems for you and your family. Leaving these chemicals around the house can also pose a threat to your pets.

The improper disposal of these products can also 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. This year, the collection site is also accepting electronic items such as CPUs, TVs, monitors, printers and keyboards.

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, 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 Collection Day. The total cost of disposing of the collected waste is expected to be about $50,000.

Recycling is an important part of the effort to keep Bradley County clean and I’m happy to report that the use of our dropoff recycling centers is growing. The 2012 year-end report shows that Bradley County residents recycled 803.5 tons of items that would have ended up in the landfill 20 years ago. The list includes 513.6 tons of mixed paper, 83.5 tons of glass, 29.5 tons of white goods, about 2.5 tons of electronics, 60.6 tons of mixed plastics, 17.8 tons of aluminum, as well as 46,036 old tires and more than 10,000 gallons of used oil.

We provide three conveniently located dropoff centers. 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 Farmers 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 dropoff 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.