Over time, many household items that are no longer of use accumulate in our garages and homes.

Some of these items might sit for years, taking up space and cluttering the area. Old paint cans, aerosol cans, pesticides, batteries and light bulbs that are no longer of use need to be disposed of properly.

Not only do they need to be disposed of to make room for other stuff and because they are no longer being used, they also need to be safely removed from houses where children and pets are present, since some of these items could be dangerous because of the potential for ignition, explosion or even poison if consumed.

Unfortunately, some people put these hazardous items on the side of the road or into streams and rivers. These people have no idea – and, quite frankly, don’t care – what damage they are doing to the land or the ecosystem of these waterways.

We are glad our leaders each year offer residents a way to properly dispose of these items. Since 1996, Household Hazardous Waste Day has been held twice a year to provide a place for people to dispose of hazardous items. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet provides grants to help make these days happen. Each year, between 700 and 900 vehicles participate in the event.

Warren County collaborates with the city of Bowling Green, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Scott Waste Services, Habitat for Humanity, Western Kentucky University student volunteers, local fire departments, an area hazmat group and others to host each event.

On Saturday, people with these items and others will have a chance to properly dispose of them at Greenwood High School from 8 a.m to 1 p.m.

Those on hand will collect household hazardous items including aerosol cans, cleaners, spot removers, button-style hearing aid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries (rechargeable batteries), photo chemicals, chemistry sets and fluorescent light bulbs. They will also be collecting items such as car batteries, dry cell batteries, engine degreasers, brake fluids, transmission fluids, kerosene, gasoline, anti-freeze, insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, adhesives, latex paint, oil paint, stains, thinners and strippers. People also have an option to shred documents and recycle small electronics, such as computers (without hard drives), laptops, tablets, monitors and TVs 40 inches and under.

This really is a wonderful thing that is going on at the high school. By doing this, people are looking out for the environment, as well as themselves and their loved ones, by getting potentially dangerous items out of their garages and houses. Doing this can help keep landfills less toxic – which can matter decades after the landfills have been closed.

As a community, we should do all we can to protect our environment and we believe events such as this do just that. We urge people to come out Saturday to get rid of items that could not only be harmful to the environment but to people and animals as well.

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