GATE CITY — Scott County residents will have the opportunity to get rid of potentially harmful chemicals ranging from pesticides to floor cleaners at this weekend’s Household Hazardous Waste Pickup Day in Gate City.
The event, which is being hosted by the Scott County Public Works Department, will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday at the Gate City Flea Market parking lot on Water Street in downtown.
Scott County Public Works Director Bill Dingus said the annual event has proven successful in previous years because it provides county residents with a central location to safely dispose of a variety of potentially hazardous items.
“This is a great alternative to disposing of waste in a normal landfill setting that might be hazardous or contaminate the environment,” Dingus said. “So this gives citizens the opportunity to properly dispose of what they may have accumulated over the year.”
The pickup day is open to Scott County residents only Dingus said.
The list of acceptable items includes: aerosols, cleaners, adhesives, antifreeze, brake fluid, chemistry sets, fertilizers, driveway sealers, mercury products, insect/fungus/weed killers, paint, paint thinners, floor care products, glue, inks, dyes, poisons, varnish, stains, wood preservers, solvents, pool chemicals, kerosene and gasoline.
Used motor oil, tires, batteries, explosive materials, appliances, yard waste, medical waste, garbage, pesticide cylinders and unknown gas containers will not be accepted by the county.
Dingus said it’s important to dispose of hazardous chemicals in a proper manner because of the harmful effects they can have on the environment.
“A lot of these chemicals don’t dissolve readily in water and they don’t attenuate over time and they filter down or go directly into streams,” Dingus said. “They can mess with the chemistry of something like a stream and cause anything from a direct fish kill to other environmental concerns that are accumulative in nature.
“These chemicals can build up over time and get into the food chain of the ecosystem and effect everything from the fish you eat to the water you drink.”
Properly disposing of the materials also helps combat what Dingus calls non-point source pollution.
“For years we’ve been good at looking at point-source pollution, like a straight pipe from a house,” Dingus said. “But in the last 20 or so years we’ve been focusing on non-point source pollution, like these chemicals ... and these type of events can really help mitigate that.”
Dingus reiterated that the disposal event was only meant for the household waste of Scott County residents.
Businesses that wish to dispose of hazardous materials can make arrangements to do so on a paid basis by contacting Environmental Enterprises Inc. at (276) 782-9900.
For more information on the pickup day, call the Scott County Public Works Department at (276) 386-6521, or contact one of Scott County’s Solid Waste and Recycling Center attendants.