City gives opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In order to save landfill space, the city held an event Saturday where residents could dispose of old paint, chemical and electronics that cannot be put into the normal waste stream.

That's why Ellis Williams showed up with a truck bed full of old paint cans more than two hours before the household hazardous waste and electronic waste collection at Normandy Park began. He has been trying to find a way to get rid of all the paint, but until now, didn't know of a way.

"My wife bought a house and a whole lot of paint, and stuff was in the shed," said Williams. "We didn't have any other way to get rid of it."

Williams was the first of 482 cars that showed up for the event. One by one, each car pulled up and workers from the city's solid waste authority took things from old chemicals to unused fertilizer to computers and TV's that no longer worked.

For six hours the line didn't stop. Some people just had a couple items, some had their cars full, clearing out clutter from around the house. It's just one way the city is trying to keep the city greener.

"It saves landfill space and we provide a proper avenue for disposal of some of these chemicals that, if incorrectly handled, can cause negative impacts to the environment," said one worker.

Williams said it's sad that some people don't take advantage of events like this and that they simply dump hazardous wastes into drains, polluting the water. He said was happy to get to Normandy Park first and not wait in line.

"I'm always early," said Williams. "If you don't get up and do what you need to do, it's still going to be laying around. I've got to be at work at one, so I wanted to get here and get it done."

Anyone who missed the event can still dispose of waste by bringing materials to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Commonwealth Avenue. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 until 5. Another mobile collection event will be held Dec. 7 at Mandarin Park.

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