By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Wondering what to do with those old containers of chemicals and paint?
What about that old computer that’s broke or outdated, but still collecting dust on a shelf?
Saturday, April 13, is the perfect opportunity to do some spring-cleaning and properly dispose of hazardous and electronic waste (e-waste).
New River Resource Authority (NRRA) will hold a New River Valley Regional Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day next Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the rear parking lot of Radford High School on Scott Street in Radford. The event is held rain or shine.
Residents of the towns of Pulaski and Dublin, Pulaski County, and other jurisdictions served by NRRA, can bring hazardous and electronic waste to the drop-off site and companies will accept the items for recycling, reuse or proper disposal. A commercial shredder will also be on hand for those wishing to safely dispose of documents.
While the event is primarily designed to collect household hazardous waste from citizens, businesses can dispose of e-waste and/or have documents shredded. Any document that is no longer needed, but contains sensitive information such as account or social security numbers should be shredded to protect against identity theft.
According to NRRA, participating in the collection day is simple because crews are on hand to unload materials from vehicles. Citizens do not even have to get out of their vehicles.
Participating companies include MXI Inc. of Abingdon, accepting household hazardous waste; Kodiak Shredding of Lynchburg, shredding documents for citizens and businesses while they watch; Scott Recycling of Pulaski, accepting electronic waste.
According to Joe Levine, NRRA executive director, the Authority has used all three companies for over five years and is “very pleased with their services.”
NRRA holds two collection days each year in April and August. During last August’s event in Radford, Kodiak shredded over three tons of paper and Scott Recycling hauled away two trucks of e-waste. About 273 residents and businesses brought items for disposal or shredding.
“The HHW event is always a success regardless of weather,” said Levine. “All of the materials received during the events are considered for recycling or reuse. If they are not able to be recycled or reused, they are properly disposed of.”
He added, “Residents that participate are not only relieving themselves of these items, they are doing the right thing. With Earth Day being this month (April 22) and Pulaski County Clean Community Council sponsoring April cleanup month in Pulaski County, we are hoping to exceed” last year’s numbers.
NRRA provided the following tips to make HHW a success:
Preparing hazardous substances for transport
In order to safely transport household hazardous waste to the event, citizens should tighten caps and lids, leave the materials in their original containers, sort and separately pack oil paints, pesticides and household cleaners, place containers in sturdy upright boxes padded with newspaper and leaking containers should be placed in leak-proof bags or other containers.
Most importantly, chemicals should never be mixed together and citizens should never smoke while handling the materials.
What to bring
Hazardous household waste that will be accepted includes oil paint, stains, varnishes, wood preservatives, paint strippers and thinners, solvent adhesives, lighter fluid and dry cell batteries.
Also, gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuels, one-pound or smaller propane containers, antifreeze, engine degreaser, brake fluid and carburetor cleaner, transmission fluid, car waxes and polishes, driveway sealer, roofing tar, swimming pool chemicals and wet cell batteries.
Lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, weed killers, mothballs, flea control products and other insecticides, fungicides and poisons will be accepted.
Other items used in the household, including rubber cement, airplane glue, fiberglass resins, photo chemicals, furniture polish, floor and metal polish, oven cleaner, drain and toilet cleansers, spot removers, rug and upholstery cleaner, hobby and art supplies and florescent lights can be disposed of Saturday, as well.
What NOT to bring
Items that will not be accepted include commercial, industrial or agricultural waste, radioactive waste, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, infectious or biological waste, ammunition, fireworks or other explosives, prescription medications and syringes, asbestos, animal carcasses, products containing Freon and empty trash containers.
E-waste that will be accepted
Electronic waste that will be accepted by Scott Recycling of Pulaski includes computer monitors, central processing units (CPUs), printers, scanners, small appliances, telephone equipment, copiers and power backups.