Want to get rid of some old cans of paint, or maybe that long-forgotten container of pesticide taking up the corner of the garage or outbuilding?
A solution for disposing of such materials is a household hazardous waste and pesticide collection event that will be conducted Saturday in Mount Airy.
It is held each fall at Veterans Memorial Park on West Lebanon Street under the sponsorship of Surry County Public Works, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and the department’s consumer services unit.
“This is a great opportunity for our citizens to dispose of their hazardous waste in a safe way and protect our environment,” county Public Works Director Dennis Bledsoe pointed out Tuesday.
Last year, 152 residents participated and 16,422 pounds of items were collected, according to Bledsoe.
The collection hours this Saturday are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Public works personnel specify that the event is for household materials only, with no commercial waste to be accepted.
The list of items that can be taken to the collection site includes:
• Paints/paint strippers;
• Weed killers/pesticides;
• Solvents, including drain solvents;
• Pool chemicals.
All containers should be labeled, with lids closed tightly and glass bottles cushioned.
A list of things not to bring also has been issued in conjunction with Saturday’s event, which includes ammunition/explosives, radioactive materials, unidentified materials, medicine and syringes, LP and propane cylinders, infectious waste and automotive-type batteries.
Saturday’s collection by the county represents a rare opportunity for local residents to dispose of hazardous chemicals and similar products.
The Mount Airy Public Works Department conducts a spring cleanup campaign each year in the city, during which unusual items normally not picked up by sanitation personnel are collected from local homes. This includes materials such as tires and old appliances, but paint, pesticides, herbicides, solvents or chemicals aren’t accepted at that time.
The county utilizes the services of a hazardous waste handling firm to take charge of materials it collects, according to Bledsoe, the public works director. It is able to recycle a large part of the products and what can’t be recycled is sent to a federally approved hazardous waste company for proper disposal, including at locations out West.
“Our main thing is to get it out of Surry County,” Bledsoe said of collection event organizers.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.