Hazardous Household Waste Event Proves Overwhelming Success for Gwinnett County

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources and Gwinnett County Solid Waste Department Teamed Up to Process Over 800 Cars During August 11 Disposal Event

Lawrenceville, Ga. – August 21, 2018 (Press Release) – Under sunny skies on Saturday, August 11, Gwinnett County played host to its first ever Hazardous Household Waste Disposal Event. Over the course of just a few hours, three Gwinnett County organizations – Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful,  Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources and Gwinnett County Solid Waste Department – along with Perma-Fix Environmental Services and a team of volunteers processed more than 800 automobiles filled with hazardous household waste like spray pesticides, antifreeze, spray paint, auto batteries, cooking grease, fluorescent bulbs, lawn care products, paint thinners, wood preservatives and more. The result was the free disposal of over 30 tons of hazardous household waste. Regrettably, an unfortunate side-effect of the event’s success was that the turnout was so great, not all residents were able to dispose of their items before the event had ended.

“This was the first event of its kind held in unincorporated Gwinnett where residents could dispose of their hazardous materials for free,” explained Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “To say it was an ‘overwhelming’ success would be an understatement. As with all of our events, we hope for a great turnout and while we consider the attendance that day an overall success, we sincerely apologize for the length of time local residents spent in traffic only to be turned away. That is not at all what we intended. While participation was far greater than we anticipated, it proves that this kind of disposal opportunity is not only definitely needed, but desired by the citizens of Gwinnett County.  It is our hope to host future collection days such as this while taking the lessons learned from this inaugural event and putting them into place. We would like to thank everyone for doing their part in disposing – or endeavoring to dispose – of their items the safe and correct way. We hope our neighbors will give us another opportunity to collect their hazardous household waste or other hard to recycle items during one of our future collection events.”

Intended to properly dispose of items that could prove harmful to the environment, this event helped a large number of Gwinnett County residents rid their homes of items that might have otherwise wound up in a local landfill. Many of the items collected will be recycled or used in the manufacture of entirely new products. Included among the items collected that day were:

  • Flammables (4.2 tons) – including oil based paints, stains, thinners, paint strippers, solvents, varnishes and wood preservatives. These hazardous fuels will be blended to a specification allowing them to be used as a fuel in the production of cement.
  • Lawn Care Products (2.8 tons) – including poisons, insecticides, weed killers, and pesticides. These hazardous chemicals will be sent for thermal destruction to a permitted incinerator.
  • Automotive Products (1.9 tons) – including used oil, antifreeze and batteries.  These items will be recycled.
  • Cleaners (1.2 tons) – including spot removers, acids and bases, and oxidizers. These hazardous chemicals will be neutralized and/or sent for other treatment to a permitted treatment storage and disposal facility.
  • Mercury (.5 tons) – including elemental mercury, thermostats, thermometers, and fluorescent bulbs and lamps. These hazardous items will be sent for recycling and mercury retort.
  • Latex Paint (17.6 tons) – including all latex and water-based paints and products. These non-hazardous special wastes will be sent to an approved disposal facility.
  • Other Misc. (.2 tons) – including other items such as propane cylinders and fire extinguishers. These items will be sent for recycling.

Although a date has not yet been set for the next Hazardous Household Waste Disposal Event, plans are already underway to improve upon the original. Gwinnett residents are encouraged to save the date for November 17 when Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and Gwinnett County’s Solid Waste Department play host to America Recycles Day at Coolray Field. To stay up-to-date on other upcoming cleanup, environmental education and disposal/recycling events, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful invites interested parties to bookmark the Event page on the organization’s website at www.gwinnettcb.org.

About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful:  Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long-term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to clean and restore public places, recycle more, protect watersheds and develop the next generation of environmental stewards. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, please visit www.GwinnettCB.org.