Environmental Protection

Tennessee DEC Shows How Household Hazwaste Collection Has Changed

Today's material includes cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals, and paint thinner.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced its mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Lebanon, Tenn. (Wilson County) on Oct. 19 and urged state residents to continue the state's good record of keeping such wastes out of landfills and surface waters.

"Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost," Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau said. "This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it."

Any Tennessee resident may bring household hazardous waste to the location.

This year is the 20th anniversary of Tennessee's mobile Household Hazardous Waste Program. During that period, more than 310,000 households have participated and properly disposed of more than 20 million pounds of flammable, toxic, reactive, and/or corrosive material, according to the agency, which noted how significantly household hazardous waste has changed: "In the 1990's, over 85% of the waste collected at events consisted of batteries, used oil, and paints. In the early 2000’s, emerging waste streams such as mercury-containing lamps and electronic scrap were increasingly generated and in need of recycling. Recycling markets developed in 2010 for batteries, used oil and electronic scrap, allowing counties and municipalities to expand their year-round collection programs. Today, typical items for disposal at an HHW event 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."

Ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, and medical waste are not accepted at HHW locations.

For more information,call 1-800-287-9013 or visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/solid-waste/solid-waste_household-waste.shtml.

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