Our community’s actions tomorrow could be a short-term step in the long-term guardianship of our environment.
Saturday is Hazardous Household Waste Collection Day. It signals the official start of a bigger-picture initiative recognized as National Keep America Beautiful Month, a time across our country when volunteers work closely with local KAB affiliates not just to spring clean but to jumpstart community commitments aimed at the landscape, the environment and most importantly our future.
HHWCD is an annual event in our hometown that is being co-sponsored this year by Bradley County, Santek Environmental, Bradley/Cleveland Keep America Beautiful and Cleveland Utilities. The environmentally savvy foursome is working in partnership with Tri-State Exhibition Center to bring the opportunity to our residents who make the responsible decision of disposing of household hazardous waste properly.
Scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., HHWCD this year is being funded by Bradley County through landfill tipping fees. County government’s decision to assume the funding role comes in response to an understandable action by state government to discontinue its sponsorship. This in no way should be construed as a rejection by Tennessee leaders of this type of invaluable community activity. It is, in fact, one of many painful budget-reduction actions taken by the Volunteer State — the same kind faced by many other state jurisdictions across America.
Yet a loss of state funding brings opportunity.
In this case, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis stepped to the plate and worked with Santek and other partners to arrive at an affordable plan, one that in many ways will provide improved flexibility for local residents because it expands the types of materials that can be accepted.
For those new to HHWCD, here it is in a nutshell.
Items like paint, certain fuels, chemicals, lawn additives and a multitude of other toxic materials that should not be discarded into the landfill are accepted on this date for proper disposal. Participants bringing their household wastes to Tri-State will pay no fee.
This is a gift to area residents by Bradley County, Santek, the local KAB affiliate, Cleveland Utilities and Tri-State. The number of residential users increases each year.
We hope participation will continue to climb.
The more toxic substances that remain out of the landfill the better the chance our environment has to rebound from years of people abuse. Too, it will help to extend the life of the local landfill operation.
Saturday’s popular event is one of several activities scheduled by KAB during its “Great American Cleanup.”
At least three others are:
- “It’s All About the Green” scheduled April 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the beautiful Cleveland State Community College campus;
- The Cleveland/Bradley Greenway and Mouse Creek cleanup set for April 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and
- A yard sale and flea market whose proceeds will benefit KAB scheduled May 7 at Stuart Elementary School.
Those interested in any or all of these splendid community initiatives may obtain additional information by contacting KAB Executive Director Joanne Maskew at 423-559-3307 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Properly disposing of household hazardous wastes Saturday is a good first step.
We encourage you to participate and to take additional steps on your own.
And then sustain your gains.
Because today’s cleanup is tomorrow’s breath of fresh air.