SMITHFIELD — Ever wondered what to do with old canisters of fuel? Or an old thermostat?
There is a place for those and other household items that could cause potential health risks and danger. A one-day hazardous collection event will take place March 2 at the Johnston County Livestock Arena from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This is important because if it can be removed from home storage, it will eliminate fires, explosions and overexposure due to chemical storage at the home,” said Kevin Shields, a solid waste supervisor who coordinated the event.
Household hazardous waste is anything normally used in the home that is ignitable, corrosive, or reactive. There is a long list of items, from swimming pool chemicals to toilet bowl Cleaner. Examples of items that will be collected also include alkaline batteries, aerosol cans, flourescent light bulbs, butane, or propane tanks, home thermostats, concrete cleaner, deck stains, and oil-based household paint. Anything with a heavy metal, or cadmium, mercury, arsenic or lead, can be dropped off at the event, said Shields.
“If we can send it to a facility that can handle it like other waste, it will remove it from the landfill, cutting down on landfill contamination,” said Shields.
“In addition to household hazardous waste, we will be taking agricultural pesticides from the farming community,” said Shields. He said the pesticides are incinerated.
Last year, the event collected six tons of household waste, dropped off by about 162 people. Clayton had the most people who dropped off item with 46 participants. Smithfield had 31 participants.
The most commonly dropped off item last year was oil-based household paint, Shields said. “We don’t accept latex paint because it is non-hazardous and it is a very costly endeavor.”
The items are transported by a Virginia-based company that sends them for fuel blending, or recycling. The paint goes for fuel blending. “Oftentimes it will wind up in a cement kiln, firing a furnace,” said Shields.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Department will also be on site to take unwanted pharmaceuticals and medications. This is the third year of the hazardous waste collection day event.
The event will take place rain or shine at the Johnston County Livestock Arena at 520 County Home Rd. in Smithfield, next to the Johnston County Landfill.