Special waste recycling event

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

By Amy-Lynn Albertson
N.C. Cooperative Extension

Instead of spring cleaning, it’s time to do some fall purging. That tube television that is collecting dust in your basement, that old laptop that doesn’t work, appliances that are long dead what are you doing with them? Don’t forget that iPhone 6 or the expired fire extinguishers. The 2022 annual Special Waste Recycling Event is next week, Oct. 12. From 8-5 p.m., you can bring your unwanted prescription and non-prescription medications, paint, hearing aids, toner cartridges, automotive fluids and so much more. However, you cannot bring your regular household trash.

Look under your kitchen sink and get rid of any old household cleaning products. Trust me, you will feel so much better once you get all of that stuff out of your house and know that it has been disposed of or recycled correctly. Go out in your garden shed or wherever you store your pesticides and check all your labels. Pesticides like RoundUp, Sevin, etc. can go bad and expire. They lose their efficacy over time. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers a Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program. Through the program, farmers, gardeners and homeowners can safely dispose of unwanted pesticides.

In 1980, the NCDA&CS led the nation with the Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program that was the first program of its kind. This stewardship program has properly collected and disposed of over 3 million pounds of pesticides from our state. In 2021, the state collected over 200,000 pounds of pesticides.  Pesticide stewardship protects human health and the environment. Collection sites vary from year to year across the 100 counties in N.C. The goal is to provide disposal opportunities to all citizens by alternating locations.

Residents can visit neighboring counties to dispose of pesticides. When property owners remove potentially hazardous materials, they help reduce the risk of accidental poisoning of children, pets, and livestock. Improper disposal of pesticides can cause environmental damage. Pesticides can stop the bacterial action in a septic tank or contaminate a municipal sewage system and surface and groundwater. It is essential to dispose of these items safely and correctly.

Bring your unwanted pesticides on Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the Rowan County Recycling and Processing Center located at 1102 N. Long Street Extension, East Spencer. Any labeled pesticide products will be accepted, whether insecticide, herbicide, rodenticides or fungicide. These pesticides are containerized, weighed and loaded into a transport vehicle. The materials are transported out-of-state for incineration. If you have containers larger than 5 gallons, please contact Amy-Lynn Albertson, Rowan County Extension director, at 704-216-8970, and she will make arrangements, ahead of time. This waste recycling event will also be accepting: Prescription and non-prescription medications, tires (limit 5- no rims), fire extinguishers, tanks — helium, oxygen, propane — all computer equipment, cell phones, all electronics (anything with a plug), fertilizers, automotive fluids, thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, washers, dryer, refrigerators, eyeglasses, hearing aids, toner cartridges and household cleaning products. For information about recycling or pesticide management, please contact the Rowan County Extension Center at 704-216-8970 or on the web at http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.

Amy-Lynn Albertson is the director of the Rowan County Extension.

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