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Responsibly dispose of hazardous household waste

Robert Houk • Apr 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Washington County will be the site of a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Daniel Boone High School in Gray. For more than 20 years, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has paid for such collections in each of the state's 95 counties.

Washington County Solid Waste Director Charles Baines said Saturday's event is the perfect opportunity for county residents to get all of their spring cleaning done. He said between 150 and 200 residents take advantage of the household hazardous waste event annually.

Baines said a private collection firm contracted by the state will take household cleaners, automotive products and lawn and garden chemicals. It will also accept mercury thermometers, aerosol cans and unused medications.

Items that will not be accepted for disposal at the household hazardous waste collection include medical and infectious waste, explosives and radioactive waste (which includes smoke detectors). Batteries, electronics and paint cans will also be excluded from Saturday's collection.

Baines said those items can be disposed of at any of the county's convenience centers at Cash Hollow, Locust Mount, Gray, Washington College and Lamar during their regular operating hours.

No commercial, business or institutional waste will be accepted at the Daniel Boone collection site.

The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste in a basement or garage. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year.

These items include cleaning fluids, pesticides and automotive fluids. Simply pouring these household wastes down the drain or on the ground, or putting them out with the trash can endanger you and your home.

Go to the "departments" link on washingtoncountytn.org and click on "solid waste" to learn more about Saturday's event.

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