A pound of prevention

Household Hazardous Waste collection is success

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A line of cars and trucks stretched from Fowlers Furniture to the Foothills Cinema Saturday morning March 17, but motorists weren’t shopping for deals or waiting for a movie.

Everyone was stopping by to participate in the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off. The event was sponsored by Keep Blount Beautiful, Foothills Mall, The Daily Times and Blount County Solid Waste. The cost of collection and disposal of the items was paid for by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. trained personnel accepted everything from drain openers, disinfectants, paints, fuel additives, herbicides, batteries, aerosols, pesticides, paint removers and oven cleaners. They also took mothballs, cellular phones, televisions and fluorescent bulbs.

According to the TDEC website, a "hazardous waste" is any unwanted or spent household product that can catch fire easily (flammable), eat away at or irritate living tissue (corrosive), react violently with water or other chemicals (reactive), or is poisonous to humans and animals (toxic). Usable household products may exhibit hazardous properties but until they are ready to be discarded, they are not appropriate for the household hazardous waste program.

Tennessee’s Mobile Collection Service has been in operation since 1993. Since then, there have been over 400 one-day collections. Over 100,000 Tennessee families have brought in almost 6 million pounds of household hazardous waste for proper disposal. The program is funded by a $0.75 per ton surcharge on waste entering landfills.

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