Discard hazardous waste safely

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Lee County residents and farmers can bring their old paint, batteries and oil, among other items, to be collected free of charge Saturday during the county’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.

Hazardous waste can be dropped off from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, located at 1901 Nash St.

“We want to make sure hazardous waste is disposed of properly,” said Lee County Solid Waste Superintendent Joseph Cherry. “We want to make sure we don’t put our waste collection personnel in any danger, and we want to make sure we don’t poison groundwater.”

It’s important, he said, to safely dispose of these hazardous materials, which can vary from household cleaners to automobile fluids or pesticides. More than 350 vehicles dropped off waste during last year’s collection day, he said.

When residents bring the chemicals to the collection site, they should be separated by the different types of waste and not be mixed, Cherry said. The materials should be in their original containers, put in leak-proof, sealed containers and, if labels are missing, the contents should be identified to the best of the consumer’s ability.

Hazardous waste from businesses will not be accepted, he said, and the event is open to all Lee County residents.

Greensboro-based ECOFLO will collect the materials on Saturday, and the waste will be either recycled, incinerated or taken to an appropriate landfill, Cherry said.

“They are all managed in a safe and environmentally friendly way,” he said.  

Among the items that can be collected are:

* Oil-based paint

* Paint thinners

* Furniture strippers

* Kitchen and bathroom cleaners

* Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides

* Batteries

* Pool chemicals

* Drain cleaners

* Motor oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid and gasoline

* Solvents

* Degreasers

For more information, contact Lee County Solid Waste at (919) 718-4622.