County Looks To Build Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility, More Drop-off Days for Convenience

Published Monday, January 19, 2015 at 10:54 am

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 19, 2015. Watauga County is looking to build a permanent household hazardous waste facility this summer, which means that residents would have many more opportunities to dispose of this type of waste each year.

Currently, citizens in the county only have two days a year – once in the spring and fall – to dispose of paint, batteries (all types), antifreeze, ethylene, gasoline, lighter fluid, solid and liquid pesticides, oxidizers, used oil, household cleaners, fluorescent lights and electronics.

“I think it will be a nice add-on compared to what we’ve been doing,” Donna Watson, an administrative assistant with Watauga County’s Solid Waste and Recycling department.

imgres10While the county hopes to save some money with the construction of this facility, Watson said, “Convenience to the public is the main goal.”

On Tuesday, Heather Bowen, recycling coordinator in the county, will request authorization from the Watauga County Board of Commissioners to apply for a $30,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to help fund the construction of the household hazardous waste facility.

According to a memo from County Manager Deron Geouque to the commissioners, the overall project is estimated to cost $47,324. The county has already budgeted $50,000 for this project, and if the grant is approved, the county would be required to match $7,888 and pay any additional costs.

“The board approved funds in the current fiscal year budget to construct and operate a household hazardous waste facility that would allow for enhanced service at the same or current cost being paid for contracted services,” the memo reads. “If awarded, the grant would reduce county funds required to complete the project.”

Watson said that if the grant is approved, construction of the facility wouldn’t start at least until July 1, and then a grand opening of sorts would occur in the fall, when the county would normally hold one of its two yearly Household Hazardous Waste Days.

In the past, the county has had a contractor that hauls off the waste on the two disposal days. In the future if the proposed plan is seen through, a contractor will still haul off the waste whenever the proposed facility is full.

She added that while a schedule for residents to dispose of the waste hasn’t been solidified, she expects the county to begin with two drop-off days a month from March through November.

See budget of project: HHW

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