DeKalb Household Hazardous Waste Collection Set for Saturday

September 26, 2013
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster

The State of Tennessee has set the Hazardous Waste Collection Day for Saturday, September 28 for DeKalb and surrounding counties. This collection will take place at the lot between DeKalb Farmers Coop and the Smithville Church of God on West Broad Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Typical items for disposal include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals and paint thinner. Business waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators is now acceptable for a fee and by appointment. To request a price quote and schedule an appointment, please contact 615-643-3180. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics and medical waste.

"We'll take computers, computer components, televisions, batteries, herbicides, insecticides and those kinds of things. If you have some medicines you want to get rid of, bring those and we'll properly dispose of them," said County Mayor Mike Foster.

"We're going to have some people there from the landfill too so if you have a question about anything that you think might not be hazardous household waste, bring it anyway. We'll have a can there," he said.

When transporting materials to the site, it is important to place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original container whenever possible. If not, place the waste in a plastic jug with a secure lid and label its contents.

Waste collected at the Hazardous Waste Day is disposed of according to State of Tennessee recommendations. Lead-acid batteries and mercury are recycled. Paints, kerosene, contaminated motor oil, gasoline, solvents and other flammable or combustible liquids are blended to make a fuel for industrial kilns and boilers. Liquids such as antifreeze and cleaners are treated to make them less hazardous. Most pesticides, herbicides, aerosol cans, cleaners, waxes and flammable materials (not suitable for fuel use) are burned in special high temperature incinerators equipped with monitoring instruments and air pollution control devices. In the rare case that materials collected are not suitable for other disposal methods, they will be placed in a secure chemical landfill. This is also used for residues produced by other treatment methods.

“Disposing of hazardous waste by burning, dumping onto the ground or down the sink, or putting in the trash can or directly into the landfill is unacceptable because those methods can cause irreversible environmental damage to the air and groundwater,” Foster said.

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