Unwanted hazardous waste up for recycling
Webster Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) environmental chairman Charlie Odom wants parish citizens’ old electronics, household chemicals, paint and other household hazardous waste.
WPPJ and Allied Waste will hold Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Saturday October 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Minden Fair Grounds.
“We are excited to offer the opportunity for residents of Webster Parish to be able to recycle and dispose of these household items that most folks really don’t know what to do with,” said Odom.
The collection is free to Webster Parish residents. A driver’s license or other proof of Webster residency like a water bill is required. Commercial waste will not be accepted.
Old electronics, appliances and batteries will be accepted along with medication, household chemicals, oil, tires and paint.
“Tires with up to a 20 inch rim will also be accepted, limit 5 tires per household, and the tires must be off the rims,” said Odom.
Odom has special plans for paint. “We’re going to take the latex paint and mix it all up into 5 gallon buckets of whatever color comes out,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll come up with about 250 gallons of paint.”
Paint will be available for free to anyone who has a use for it. “If they don’t mind the color,” said Odom.
Some waste will not be accepted. Infectious and medical wastes, biological and radioactive materials, compressed gas cylinders, ammunition, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and explosives are prohibited.
According to PSC Environmental Services Household Hazardous Waste Business Manager Kelby Neal, household hazardous waste presents many possible dangers to the environment and sanitation workers.
“There have been many cases of garbage trucks catching on fire from household materials. It happens all the time,” said Neal.
When garbage is compacted, everything mixes together. Even non-flammable chemicals can combine in the trucks and start a fire.
Pouring household chemicals down the drain can also cause problems. “A heavy cleaner or similar chemicals can kill what they call the good bugs in a wastewater treatment plant,” Neal said. Bacteria and protozoa are often essential in the processing of wastewater.
Odom hopes that Webster residents will embrace proper recycling of their household hazardous waste.
“This is our first time to do this. We don’t know if we’ll have 5,000 people or 50 people show up,” Odom said. “If this is a success we hope to do it two times a year.”