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What’s in your garage? Furniture strippers? Oil-based paint? Car batteries? Pesticides? Old fluorescent light bulbs? It seems that many of us hold on to bottles and containers of household hazardous waste.
They line our basement shelves or fill the corners of our garages and barns. We set them aside with plans to properly dispose of them…. someday. But someday rarely comes.
This Saturday can be that “someday” as the City of Shelbyville Public Works Department and Shelby Clean Community Program join efforts to host a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event for all Shelby County residents.
“We are offering a way for people to dispose of these products safely,” says Jennifer Harrell, city engineer for the city of Shelbyville. “I found grant funds from the Division of Waste Management, and gathered my colleagues in the city and county to help set up the event.
“We’re working with an environmental consulting firm who will collect the household hazardous wastes and dispose of them for us.”
Most of the local logistics are in-kind donations, Harrell says, such as the collection center at 120 Midland Plaza (the old Winn Dixie building near Hardee’s and Tractor Supply), staff time to oversee the event and even the informational flyers.
“We are making it easy for local residents to participate. We’re spending very few local tax dollars, while protecting our local environment,” she says.
People can drive through the donation center, and workers will unload the waste items for you. All that is asked is that you show a driver’s license or other identification to confirm that you live in Shelby County.
There will also be a brief, 6-item survey to complete. “It’s a check-sheet, really,” Harrell said. “We want to know if drop-off events like these are valuable to our community. The survey will help us assess this.”
Harrell says that she hopes that events like this one can be offered annually. “It’s important to hold regular waste disposal events so people don’t resort to dumping these materials down a storm drain or out in a field,” she says.
Whether you pour hazardous waste down your sink, or throw items into the trash, they can still have a negative impact on the environment. “The water that flows into our storm drains isn’t treated,” she says. “ Whatever goes into the drain goes into our creeks, streams and lakes. We don’t want hazardous wastes in these places.”
Any item that could potentially harm you, your animals or the environment is classified as a hazardous waste. These will be accepted at the collection site. Motor oil and latex paint will not be accepted.
“There are local businesses that already recycle oil,” Harrell says. “Latex paint is not considered hazardous; it can be solidified with sand or kitty litter and disposed of in your household trash.”
Hazardous Waste Collection Event
WHEN: 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Saturday
WHERE: 120 Midland Blvd. (Midland Plaza) in Shelbyville.
WHAT: All hazardous materials except oil and latex paint, electronics or business items.
COST: Free to all Shelby County residents