WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - People have a chance to do some spring cleaning this weekend in West Monroe. Ouachita Green is hosting its annual household hazardous waste day so people can get rid of dangerous materials.
Coordinator for Ouachita Green Stuart Hodnett says throwing away certain things could have dangerous consequences, which is why they're helping people dispose of them safely.
They're collecting all kinds of things that are full of dangerous chemicals like batteries, motor oils, medicine, and electronics.
Hodnett says it's important for them to be thrown away this way because it keeps those dangerous materials out of our waste stream. He says a lot of these items contain metals like mercury and lead, which can leech into the groundwater and then affect our waterways.
They're also offering paper shredding so people can get rid of some important documents that contain personal information. Jo Ann Deal with the Better Business Bureau says people should immediately shred things like bank statements, paid bills, and credit offers to avoid identity theft.
She says many people think that simply ripping these papers is enough, but your identity could still be at risk if they're not torn in the right place,
"Chances are if you're not paying attention to where you rip the paper, you could be at risk,” she explains. “You need to run it through a cross-cut shredder. The Federal Trade Commission says over and over again in all of their training and all of their videos that everyone should invest in a cross-cut shredder."
Hodnett says the event has been a success in the past and they hope people understand the importance.
"Ouachita Green has gotten the word out in the past 11 years and people are coming and waiting until we have these things in the spring,” he says. “It's good spring cleanup for everybody and everybody is doing it the proper way now.”
The collection will be from 9 AM until 1 PM, Saturday, March 16 at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
Hazardous household products: oil and latex paints, stains, automobile batteries, household batteries, motor oil, antifreeze, oil filters, household cleaners, household chemicals, pesticides, flammables, corrosives, medications, and electronic wastes (computers, monitors, computer accessories, printers, scanners, fax machines, speakers, VCRs, DVD players, stereo equipment, TVs, game consoles, digital cameras, any audio or video equipment, radios, calculators, cellular phones, and accessories).
Recyclable Materials: office paper, magazines, cardboard, plastics number 1 thru 2 and white goods/scrap metal (aluminum cans, food cans, appliances, refrigerators, stoves, and hot water heaters, dishwashers, microwaves, lawn equipment, etc.).
Sharps: needles will be added to this year’s collection. The participant will be required to transfer the needles to the provided container at the collection site.
Shredding Services: document destruction of personal information on site. This service will be limited to 3 copy paper size boxes per participant. Document shredding sponsored by Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union.
Tires with up to a 20-inch rim dimension will be accepted.
Limited to 5 tires per household.
This collection is for households only.
Large quantities from businesses, farms, or commercial operations will not be accepted.
PROHIBITED Materials: radioactive materials, compressed gas cylinders, ammunition, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and explosives.