Local cities coordinate Household Hazardous Collection Day

Posted at 6:25 PM, May 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-18 19:26:01-04

There are many things just lying in your home that can hurt the environment. That's why local cities organized a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.

Waco, Woodway, Hewitt, Lorena and Lacy Lakeview teamed up to put on the first collection day in more than two years since state funding was slashed because of budget cuts. Now it's up to individual cities to fund cleanup projects.

Waco's Solid Waste Director Chuck Dowdell says he hopes with city council approval this will again become an annual day of collection.

Saturday, hundreds of cars lined up as early as 6:30 in the morning for Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. The collection site was open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Waco Operations Center.

Crews had set up several stations for people to drop off their waste. A wall of paint cans was stacked waist high. All of them will be mixed together and reused.

There were also two new stations, for collecting old electronics and another for scrap tires. Crews also collected pesticides, paint thinners and other dangerous chemicals.

"If someone who were to then get discouraged and not have any place to take these they might  pour it down the drain or they  just put it on the land someplace or in an empty lot so we don't want that happening because that does represent a threat to the environment," SAID Dowdell.

This city of Waco is in the process of partnering with a company to divert trash like this from landfills and convert it into fuel or energy. It's called waste-to-energy and according to the environmental protection agency they can take hazardous waste and turns it into renewable energy a source which reduces carbon emissions. 

Dowdell says, "We can safely keep these chemicals out of our environment. None of this winds up in the landfills. We re-purpose it; we find places for it to go."

He says the amount of trash per household has gone up over the years and more needs to be done than just dumping it into landfills.

If Waco finds a company to partner with to implement a waste-to-energy program, it would be one of the first, if not the first city in the Texas to do it.