THE GREENING OF SPRING
Other upcoming environmental events:
• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. "It's All About The Green.'' Cleveland State Community College. Exhibitors, information booths and experts show how to go green.
• April 21: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mouse Creek and greenway cleanup.
• May 5: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Treasure 'n' Trash litter pickup project. Location to be determined.
Source: Keep America Beautiful
CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Garages and basements in Bradley County should have more storage space this morning.
Hundreds of households took part Saturday in the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day at Tri-State Exhibition Center, organized by Keep America Beautiful Cleveland/Bradley County and Santek Environmental.
Last year more than 800 households took part.
Volunteers joined crews from Clear Harbors Environmental Services and some inmates from the Bradley County Justice Center to unload a long line of cars and trucks filled with old cleaning chemicals, paint and paint thinner as well as television screens and computer monitors.
"It's hard to get rid of this stuff in a safe manner," Rick Manis said as he waited in his vehicle.
"I have paint I need to get rid of," said Joe Connor, also waiting his turn.
Television screens and computer monitors were being stored in an area to themselves.
Cheryl Dunson, Santek marketing director and a member of the KAB board, said the county recycle center on Peerless Road takes electronics but not screens and monitors.
When state funding ended for the household hazardous waste day, Bradley County stepped up, Dunson said, providing money from a special fund that only can be used for environmental projects. The fund is from money Santek pays the county to operate the landfill.
Because of that funding, she said, the TVs and monitors can be collected this one day of the year, since it is not controlled by the state.
The same fund also was used last year for local costs for tornado cleanup.
Before the gate opened at 8 a.m. Saturday, a line of vehicles already had formed. Continuously until the 1 p.m. closing, a steady stream of cars and trucks formed a line that circled one large field, then divided into two lines near the Tri-State center's barns. There, KAB and Santek volunteers, along with Clear Harbors employees, sorted through the boxes, cans and containers.
"This is pretty typical,'' said Joanne Maskew, executive director of the local KAB chapter, watching the traffic.
"The biggest item we get is paint,'' said Clear Harbors' Kevin Brown. He expected to fill three roll-off truck containers with paint. Each roll-off carries about 40,000 pounds.
Paint is solidified and sent to an Alabama plant that uses it for fuel, he said.
The petroleum and medical items are incinerated.
Clear Harbors runs similar collection events across the United States.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...