The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TDEC) mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Carter, Robertson and Rutherford Counties on Saturday, May 13. Since the program's inception in 1993, more than 338,000 households have properly disposed of more than 22 million pounds of material. Click here to see a video of a typical HHW event.
"Unwanted hazardous waste is at risk of polluting our waterways and our air, as well as our own health," said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. "This collection service provides a free, convenient way for residents to dispose of hazardous waste every fall and spring."
On May 13, any Tennessee resident may bring their household hazardous waste to the following locations. You do not need to live in the county listed to participate in the event. (Note that hours listed indicate the local time for events.)
- Carter County - Carter County Recycling Center, 411 Cherokee Park Dr. in Elizabethton from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Benny Lyons at (423) 543-6626.
- Robertson County - Transfer Station, 2916 West County Farm Rd. in Springfield from 8 a.m. - noon. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Korey Drake at (615) 384-0683.
- Rutherford County - Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department, 4765 Florence Rd. from 8 a.m. - noon. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Mimi Keisling at (615) 542-4633.
HHW material is considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals, paint thinner and used needles in sturdy containers. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics and any empty containers that should be disposed in normal trash.
While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Waste (i.e. wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.). An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.
Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap - or BOPAE, as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.
When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original containers whenever possible. If not, place each waste in a separate plastic container with a secure lid and label its contents.
For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, including a schedule of all spring events, please call 1-800-287-9013 or visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/topic/sw-mm-household-hazardous-waste-program.
Tennesseans can also sign up for TDEC's HHW enewsletter to receive updates on when a collection event will be nearby at https://app.e2ma.net/app2/audience/signup/1835961/1721366/.