Keep Blount Beautiful is teaming up with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to present a free Household Hazardous Waste Round-up. The collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in the parking lot of the Blount County Courthouse on Court Street.
Alanna McKissack, executive director of Keep Blount Beautiful, said she will have a dozen or so volunteers on that day to collect items from residents. She stressed this is household and not business waste. KBB has hosted these waste collections in the past but it has been about three years since the last one, McKissack said.
Items that will be accepted, McKissack said, are automotive and marine products such as oil and fuel additives, grease and rust solvents, starter fluids and gasoline. Home maintenance products such as roofing tar, wallpaper remover, driveway sealant and adhesives will also be accepted.
Home lawn and garden products are on the list of acceptable items for this collection. That would be things like pesticides, fertilizers, pool chemicals, photo processing chemicals, medicines, drugs, mercury thermostats and thermometers and fluorescent tubes. Needles and sharps in puncture-proof containers will be collected as well.
“The purpose of this drive-thru disposal event is for citizens to dispose of hazardous waste properly in order to protect our water, land and air in Blount County from hazardous waste pollution,” McKissack said. “Improperly disposing of household hazardous waste, such as pouring it down the drain or in the storm drains, can result in contamination to our waterways and can cause a potential threat to human health.”
The things not to bring
But, residents also need to be aware of what will not be accepted, McKissack said. No waste from medical offices or veterinarians will be taken. Neither will explosives or ammunition. That includes fireworks and gun powder.
Auto parts, gas tanks, tires, filters or paint of any kind will not be accepted, McKissack said. Appliances, electronics and smoke detectors are on the unacceptable items list, too.
The list of unaccepted items also includes construction products such as cement mix, lime, bone meal, grout and also things like alkaline batteries machine parts or empty containers of any kind.
“Our biggest thing right now is paint,” McKissack said. “It is not accepted at all. We have been getting a lot of calls about it. That includes oil based and latex-based paint. That is at the request of the state. They are running this collection date.”
KBB has a website where all of the accepted and unaccepted items are listed, www.keepblountbeautiful.org.
Alkaline batteries, McKissack explained, will not be accepted because they no longer contain mercury and can be disposed of in the regular trash. All other batteries can be brought to Batteries Plus Bulbs, 220 Hamilton Crossing during their business hours.
Spectra Recycling, located at 1627 Robert C. Jackson Drive, will be collecting empty propane, freon and helium cylinders from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 17-19. There is a fee of $20 per cylinder.
McKissack said this will be her first Household Hazardous Waste Round-up with KBB. She said they will make this as convenient and easy for residents. The volunteers will unload everything, she said. There will be no need to even get out of the vehicle.
There is no cost to residents or KBB. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is footing the bill. They will also be bringing close to a dozen volunteers.
“The big thing we want people to know is this is household waste and not business,” McKissack stressed. She added they expect a heavy load of traffic on Saturday.
“We hope to keep moving things along,” she said.