Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day exceeds expectations
Georgetown County’s Public Services Department collected more than three tons of hazardous household materials in the span of about three hours last weekend.
The department, with help from Palmetto Ace Home Center and Midway Fire Rescue, had its annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection day on Saturday, Sept. 21, outside Palmetto Ace in Pawleys Island.
The event was scheduled to start at 9 a.m., but by 8:15 that morning, a line of people waiting to drop off materials had already formed.
Within the first hour, county staff had already filled up a truck and trailer with materials, and exceeded last year’s collection totals.
By the end of the day, three trucks had been filled and items were being stacked on pallets for later pick up. Additionally, county staff talked to about 100 people who dropped off items during the course of the day.
“I’d say that’s more than successful,” said Tracy Jones, stormwater division manager for Georgetown County and the lead in organizing the collection. “This kind of opportunity to talk to the public is phenomenal. We got people to take home a rain barrel who didn’t even know what one was when they got here, so that’s huge. Our goal is always to educate about water quality, so even if 10 people leave here today knowing something they didn’t know before, that they can put into practice at home, that’s a win.”
Then, there’s also the huge volume of hazardous household materials collected that can now be properly disposed of and kept out of the water supply.
Many of the items that were collected aren’t accepted at the community recycling and collection centers throughout the county, so members of the public have to go to the landfill on Highway 51 to properly dispose of them.
“A lot of people don’t want to go all the way to the landfill, so they end up just throwing it in the trash or dumping it out in the back yard, where it ends up in a ditch,” Jones said.
That’s not good for anybody, she adds, which is why the community’s support of Saturday’s event is even more important.
Jones credits the efforts of her staff in the stormwater division, as well as county environmental services staff, with the extra public interest in the event this year.
“I have to hand it to the team, because they really went all out and worked hard to get the word out,” she said.
She also thanks Palmetto Ace Home Center and Habitat for Humanity of Georgetown County for their support, as well as all the members of the public who took the time to drop off their items.
For more information about stormwater related issues, visit www.gtcounty.org/stormwater or call the Georgetown County Stormwater Division, (843) 545-3524.
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