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How to dispose household hazardous waste safely in Lexington County

Over the past few months, Lexington county has noticed more people trying to dispose hazardous items as they're cleaning out their homes

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — The County of Lexington is hosting several events to help residents get rid of their household hazardous waste safely.

On Friday, Lexington County Solid Waste held an event at Summit Collection and Recycling Center so people could dispose of their household hazardous waste.

Traude Sander is the Recycling Coordinator for the County of Lexington.

"I'm here with Ecoflo, which is our household hazardous waste vendor, collecting hazardous material from residents in Lexington County," said Sander. "They have the opportunity to drive through here today and drop off anything that is hazardous to the environment."

This includes items such as fire extinguishers, pool chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. These items have danger, poison or flammable written on the label.

Since the pandemic started, people have been staying at home and working on projects. One of those including cleaning.

Over the past few months, the county has noticed people wanting to dispose more items.

"Residents cleaned out materials over the spring and so we have certainly seen a rise in materials that they're dropping off," said Sander.

Lexington County leads the state in recycling rate percentage at 54 percent. 

"We realized the way that we were collecting hazardous materials at three to five events over the year was not convenient for residents so we wanted to come up with a more convenient and economical way for residents in Lexington County to safely dispose of hazardous material," explained Sander.

This is happening at five different Lexington County collection and recycling centers on a rotating basis during the year. The sites include Summit, Bush River Road, Chapin, Edmund, and Southeast.

The schedule will be every other weekend throughout the year.

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The county is also trying to get the word out about securing loads in the back of trucks. This means placing a tarp over your items to make sure it doesn't fly out of the truck and become litter. This is part of their "Tarp Your Load" campaign.

Staff handed out free tarps to those who needed one for their vehicles, as well as flyers to help educate the community on why it's important to secure the load. The tarps were provided by a grant from PalmettoPride.

Sander says it's important people remember to make sure they get rid of hazardous material the right way.

"Hazardous materials do leak into the ground and can go up into the air so we feel it's very important to dispose of hazardous materials in a safe way and so that's why we have dedicated our resources to disposing of household hazardous material safely," explained Sander.

Lexington County Solid Waste has put out a schedule for the next couple of weeks for when folks can safely dispose of hazardous material. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, July 25th at Chapin Collection and Recycling Center
  • Friday, August 7th at Bush River Rd. Collection and Recycling Center
  • Saturday, August 8th at Edmund Collection and Recycling Center
  • Friday, August 21st at Edmund Collection and Recycling Center
  • Saturday, August 22nd at Southeast Collection and Recycling Center

RELATED: How Lexington County School Districts plan to use CARES Act Funding