published Friday, March 25th, 2011

Bradley gets ready to collect hazardous waste

By Paul Leach

IF YOU GO

• What: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day

• Where: Tri-State Exhibition Center, exit 20 off I-75

• When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

• Cost: Free

• Acceptable items: Automotive fluids (oil, antifreeze, etc.), paints, pesticides, fertilizers, medicines/drugs, aerosols, fluorescent tubes, computers, TVs.

• Unacceptable items: Explosives, ammunition, radioactive waste, commercial/medical/farm wastes.

• Recyclables: The Bradley County Landfill now accepts used oils, antifreeze and lead batteries all year free of charge.

For more information, call 423-476-9160.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.—The Tri-State Exhibition Center will host Bradley County’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on April 2.

The county will pay about $30,000 for the event, which previously had been funded by the state. However, organizers noted, this allows Bradley County some freedom from state restrictions regarding disposal of paint and electronic waste, which includes items such as computers, printers and monitors.

“By accepting paint and e-waste, which make up to 70 percent of the waste stream, we are better able to serve the needs of the residents,” said Cheryl Dunson, vice president of marketing for Santek Environmental, Inc.

In addition to paint and electronics, the event aims to safely eliminate household chemicals — some of them quite toxic — that can endanger the environment if disposed of without care.

Residents may bring an array of home, lawn and automotive products for disposal, such as pesticides, aerosols, fertilizers, fuel additives, antifreeze and solvents.

Bradley County lost state funding for this year’s event because it did not meet requirements to maintain year-round acceptance of computer monitors, televisions and paint, said Paula Mitchell, coordinator for Tennessee’s Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Even though the county does not collect computer monitors and TVs year-round, it does accept computers and other electronics at the Peerless Road recycling center throughout the year.

The county will fund the event through fees collected from the landfill that are earmarked for “environmental purposes,” said Dan Howell, executive assistant to the county mayor. No tax dollars from the general fund will be used, he said.

Howell praised the commitment of Santek Environmental Inc., the county landfill operator that he said played a key role in organizing the event. He also cited Cleveland Utilities for sending out 34,000 notification fliers with its March statements, Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful for providing volunteers to handle traffic and the exhibition center for offering the space at no charge.

“It’s truly a community effort,” Howell said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at paul.leach-press@gmail.com.

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