If you live in Hope Mills and you’ve got old cans of paint or other hazardous chemicals cluttering the garage or storage building, your chance to safely get rid of everything is coming up this weekend.
The town will host multiple events this Saturday, April 21, that are part of the town’s effort to clean up the community and improve its overall appearance.
Beth Brown, stormwater administrator for the town of Hope Mills, said the town’s commissioners have made beautification of the community a focus for this year.
“This certainly allows us to clean up and make the town look better,’’ she said.
The triple effort this weekend will focus on disposing of hazardous waste, shredding old documents and a citywide litter sweep.
The biggest and most expensive part of the project is the disposal of hazardous waste.
“Other stormwater departments around the state of North Carolina have used this idea to allow residents to have an opportunity to come out free of charge and drop off any type of household chemicals that are no longer good and can’t be disposed of in the trash can,’’ Brown said.
The town provides citizens with the chance to drop off their dangerous chemicals at a central collection location in the parking lot between Town Hall and the police station from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday.
The town annually budgets $30,000 toward hazardous waste disposal and hires a firm called Clean Harbor to come in and take care of the job.
Brown said Clean Harbor has to get permits to do the collection and the town pays the cost to transport the collected waste to a proper landfill, possibly as far away as Virginia, she said. “We provide the service to our residents because it makes it easier for them to get here to Town Hall to drop off their items,’’ Brown said.
People are asked to arrive at Town Hall with the waste they are dropping off in the original container it came in. All waste should be carried in the bed of a truck or the trunk or back seat of a car. Once they arrive at the collection point, signs and town staff will direct them where to go. They don’t even have to leave their cars as personnel from the collection company will be on-site to take it from their car.
There’s a wide list of things that are accepted, including adhesives, glues, resins, stains and thinners. Also taken are various kinds of batteries, pesticides and weed killers, propane cylinders, aerosol cans, computers and electronic devices. Things that will not be accepted include ammunition, fireworks, explosives, infectious and biological waste, syringes, radioactive waste and unknown compressed gas cylinders.
Medications are also on the list of things not accepted. If you have a question about a specific type of waste material, call 910-424-4555 before going on Saturday.
In addition to the waste collection, the town will also hold a shredding event, but the papers won’t be shredded on-site. Brown said they used to rent trucks that did the shredding but learned from experience that if the truck breaks down, a replacement truck isn’t sent to replace it.
Now, the town provides collection bins for people to bring their old papers and drop them off. As soon as the shredding event is over, the company that handles the shredding picks everything up and takes it to be destroyed.
The third aspect of the town-wide cleanup day is a litter sweep. It focuses on areas in the general vicinity of Town Hall, including Rockfish and Golfview roads.
Kenny Bullock of the Hope Mills Recreation Department said people just need to show up at 8:30 a.m. the morning of the cleanup to register for the litter sweep. Volunteers are needed to make the event the biggest possible success.
A lot of young people usually take part, he said, especially members of local high school Key Clubs and Girl Scouts, but there are restrictions. To be allowed to clean up along roadways, all participants must be 16 or older. Anyone younger is welcome to volunteer, but those participants can’t go on the roadways and are limited to helping clean up local parks.
“We try to get all the streets in the neighborhood,’’ Bullock said. “This is the 21st year of the litter sweep.’’
There will be a second litter sweep in the fall. The hazardous chemical disposal and shredding events are only held once a year.