By Amy-Lynn Albertson
Rowan County 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 2020 annual special waste recycling event will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14. You can bring your unwanted prescription and non-prescription medications, paint, hearing aids, toner cartridges, automotive fluids, and so much more.
Take a 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 to assist the citizens of N.C. 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. Pesticide stewardship protects human health and the environment. Collection sites vary from year to year across the 100 counties in the state. 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. So it is essential to dispose of these items safely and correctly.
Bring your unwanted pesticides on Oct. 14 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 Caleb Sinclair, Rowan County Environmental Management, at 704-216-8589, and he 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, cellphones, 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, contact the Rowan County Extension Center at 704-216-8970 or http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.
While you are collecting all your unwanted pesticides and paint, you can keep the momentum going if you live in the city of Salisbury because the week of Oct. 12-16 is also Fall Spruce Up Week. During Spruce Up Weeks, City of Salisbury residents can place items at the curb on their regular collection day before 7 a.m. The city will collect mattresses, box springs, furniture items, appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc. They will not accept electronics or building materials. This week also begins loose leaf collection for the city. So get your fall purge on and clean out those basements, sheds, garages and attics. For more information about Spruce Up week, contact the City of Salisbury Public Works 704-638-5260.
Amy-Lynn Albertson is the director of Rowan County Cooperative Extension.