MDEQ assessing household hazardous waste in wake of tornadoes

APTOPIX Severe WeatherLEE COUNTY and WINSTON COUNTY — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is working with officials and residents across the state to assist with storm damage and to provide guidance on the proper management of debris resulting from recent tornadoes.

There are currently two household hazardous waste collection sites that will be provided for Lee County (Lee County Agri-center) and Winston County (503 Pontotoc Street, adjacent to the Louisville Street Department) residents beginning today and ending May 10. Both sites will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are still assessing the amount and types of the debris and working to identify any other environmental issues resulting from the tornadoes. We deployed staff immediately after the storms to the affected counties to help the local officials and the residents in any way we can.  If residents or local officials have questions or concerns relating to debris clean up from storm damage or other resulting environmental issues, please contact our Solid Waste staff at (601) 961-5171,” said Trudy Fisher, MDEQ Executive Director.

MDEQ is currently working with local officials to assess the damage to determine the best options for management of debris. Residents cleaning up debris from damaged structures may dispose of most of the structural wastes, furnishings and bulky debris at local rubbish sites. MDEQ reminds residents that household debris should not be burned, should be segregated by type of waste including separating household hazardous waste and disposed of properly at permitted disposal sites. Additionally, normal household garbage should not be mixed with storm debris but disposed of in the normal means as before the storms.  Information on emergency debris management is available at www.deq.state.ms.us/solidwaste.

Household hazardous wastes include household chemical items, certain electronic wastes, and other materials in the home that may be harmful to pets or children.

Area residents can drop off the following types of household hazardous waste items at the sites including:

  • Household chemicals, bleach, and cleaners
  • Insecticides and herbicides
  • Household poisons
  • Pool chemicals
  • Used oil and gasoline
  • Paints, thinner, varnish and solvents
  • Thermostats, lighting ballasts, capacitors and other similar items
  • Electronic wastes such as televisions, cell phones, and computers
  • Large, bulky household appliances – such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers, and hot water heaters
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