Take the chance to dispose of chemicals safely

May 20, 2013

Once every several years, there’s a collection point where local residents can safely dispose of harmful chemicals that could contaminate the environment if handled incorrectly.

That day is today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Center on Raccoon Road in Waynesville.

It is unfortunate the event is being held during the middle of a week day when some who have items that need to be properly disposed are at work. It is also unfortunate such a short notice was provided about the upcoming event.

The service being offered by the extension office and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is a good one in that it helps protect the water, land and the landfill from a concentrated dose of toxic materials not being used for their intended purpose.

We certainly hope nobody would ever consider dumping the hazardous materials into a coulee, pouring them down the drain or disguising them in other garbage. The toxins are bad news if improperly tossed, and the impacts are long-lasting.

Hazardous waste is not accepted at the county landfill, and those with the almost empty cans of such material are left with the choice of paying a company to take it or hold onto it until one of the hazardous waste disposal days are offered.

Another choice, suggested Haywood County Extension Director Bill Skelton, is to pass the chemical on to someone else who might need it. He urged people to purchase only the amount of chemicals needed.  Chemicals accepted today must be in their original container and the container must have no leaks.

Each partially filled can, jar or bottle of toxic waste collected today is one less container that has a chance of being improperly dumped.  Make every effort to do your part and safely discard them.

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