The waste collection event, which is paid for by the Bradley County government, will allow people to dispose of waste considered to be too hazardous to be thrown into normal trash and taken to the Bradley County Landfill. Organizers said they hope fewer hazardous wastes will make their way into the environment as a result.
Though it might be easier for someone to throw old things like used computer monitors or half-used cans of furniture stain away with the rest of their garbage, organizers said they hope people will take advantage of the opportunity to dispose of things properly.
“We ask people to do the right thing and wait for this event,” said Cheryl Dunson, executive vice president of marketing at Santek Waste Services, one of the event’s sponsors.
The free event will take place at the Tri-State Exhibition Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
When residents drive up to the exhibition center, they will travel in a loop and stop where volunteers will help them unload whatever it is they need to have disposed. While there may be a line of traffic, Dunson said she expects it will move pretty quickly as long as everyone has taken care to correctly prepare what they are dropping off.
Santek Waste Services, the Bradley County Mayor’s office, Cleveland Utilities, Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful and the Tri-State Exhibition Center serve as sponsors for the county-funded event and various resources to help it go smoothly. Dunson said Santek paid for fliers to be printed. Cleveland Utilities paid to have the fliers mailed. Tri-State provided the location and the local Keep America Beautiful chapter provides volunteers the day of the event.
Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful finalized its plans for the collection day at its latest board of directors meeting Wednesday. Though some members expressed concern over there being a slight possibility of light snow on Saturday, they said they did not expect it to significantly affect how many people would attend because some already see the waste collection day as something in which they need to participate.
“It is vital for our community,” board member Joanne Maskew said.
While various organizations are working together for the event, Dunson said credit is due to the Bradley County Mayor’s office for providing the funding necessary to make it happen.
“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,” Mayor D. Gary Davis said in a recent statement. “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.”
He added that state law allows the county to use funds appropriated for the landfill to hold such events and that it should cost around $50,000 to dispose of the waste from the collection day. The goal, he said, is to “preserve the environment and also extend the life of the Bradley County Landfill.”
While the county contracts with Santek to run the Bradley County Landfill, waste collected from the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day will be picked up and taken away by another contractor called Clean Harbors because such waste cannot sit in the local landfill, Dunson said. There are only certain items that can be accepted at the event. She added that all items must be “properly packaged” and placed in cardboard boxes or plastic containers to ensure the safety of the volunteers collecting the waste.
She also encourages anyone needing to dispose of items that are recyclable, including things like used oils, anti-freeze and lead-acid batteries, to the Bradley County Landfill, where they can be recycled for free anytime. The landfill, along with the recycling centers on Urbane and Peerless Roads, also accepts recyclable items such as paper, glass bottles and aluminum cans. The Saturday event is reserved for hazardous materials that cannot routinely be recycled or thrown away with normal trash.
The following items will be accepted Saturday:
- Automotive and marine products like oil and fuel additives, grease and rust solvents, naval jelly, carburator and fuel injector cleaners, starter fluids, body putty, anti-freeze and gasoline
- Home maintenance products such as oil-based paint, used paint strippers and thinners, adhesives, driveway sealant, roofing tar, wallpaper remover, stains and varnishes
- Lawn and garden products such as pesticides, fertilizers and wood preservatives
- Electronics such as computer CPUs, TVs, monitors, printers and keyboards
- Miscellaneous products such as pool chemicals, photo processing chemicals, medicines and drugs, aerosols and compressed gas, mercury thermostats and thermometers and fluorescent tubes.
The following items will not be accepted:
- Medical and biological products like needles, infectious wastes, dead animals and any waste coming from a doctor’s office, clinic or veterinary office
- Explosives such as fireworks, gun powder and ammunition
- Radioactive items like smoke detectors and radium paint
- Certain miscellaneous items such as microwaves, automotive gas tanks, laboratory chemicals, cooking oil and empty containers
- Any waste coming from any businesses, schools, colleges, hospitals, argibusinesses or home improvement or painting contractors.