The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Blount, Coffee, Dickson and Maury Counties on Saturday, Sept. 22. Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 346,000 Tennessee households have properly disposed of more than 22 million pounds of material.
“Our goal is to provide a convenient and no-cost option for residents to responsibly dispose of hazardous material to help protect Tennessee’s waterways, land and air from impacts by these common items,” said TDEC Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian.
Any Tennessee resident is encouraged to bring their household hazardous waste – including cleaning fluids, pesticides, batteries, and more – to the designated drop-off locations. You do not need to live in the county listed to participate in the event. (Note that hours listed indicate the local time.)
- Blount County – Blount County Recycling Convenience Center, 331 Levi St., in Maryville from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The local contact for this collection event is Brittney Whipple at (865) 681-4809.
- Coffee County – Tullahoma Public Works, 942 Maplewood Ave., from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The local contact for this collection event is Butch Taylor at (931) 454-1768.
- Dickson County – Dickson County Fairgrounds, 1053 Hwy 47 East, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The local contact for this collection event is Jim Lunn at (615) 446-0019.
- Maury County – Maury County Solid Waste Department, 1233 Lawson White Dr., in Columbia from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The local contact for this event is Mike Sweeney at (931) 375-6400.
Household hazardous waste materials are considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals, paint thinner and used needles in sturdy containers. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint (contact your local county solid waste department for latex and oil based paint guidance), electronics and any empty containers that should be disposed in normal trash.
A full list of acceptable and unacceptable items can be found here: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/environment/sw-mm-household-hazardous-waste-program/sw-mm-household-hazardous-waste-acceptable-unacceptable-items.html.
While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Waste (i.e. wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.). An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.
Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap – or BOPAE, as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.
When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original containers whenever possible. If not, place each waste in a separate plastic container with a secure lid and label its contents.
In addition to these annual events, Tennesseans can also dispose of expired or unwanted medications year-round through the Unwanted Household Pharmaceutical Take Back Program. Permanent collection boxes are provided in every county and prevent prescription and over-the-counter medications from getting into the hands of vulnerable residents or into waterways. A map with all box locations can be found here: http://tdeconline.tn.gov/rxtakeback/.
For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 1-800-287-9013 or visit https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/environment/solid-waste/documents/sw-mm-hhw-collection-schedule.pdf.
Tennesseans can also sign up for TDEC’s HHW enewsletter to receive updates on when a collection event will be nearby at https://app.e2ma.net/app2/audience/signup/1835961/1721366/.