DORSET >> Those looking to do some fall cleaning, take note: You can rid your home of hazardous chemicals safely and for free this weekend.
The next Household Hazardous Waste Day is Saturday, Oct. 1. Residents county-wide can drop off old batteries, paint, pesticides and more to the Dorset School at 130 School Drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The collection events are held twice a year and aim to take people's dangerous chemicals to prevent accidental harm or improper disposal, according to Michael Batcher, regional planner with the Bennington County Regional Commission.
"We want people to get rid of this stuff," he said Wednesday.
The event is open to residents and second home owners across all 13 towns in Bennington County. It's free, but each individual must show proof of residency, Batcher said.
Many people don't realize how harmful common chemicals can be, Batcher said. Items may be left on shelves for years. Other times, they're thrown into a trash bag with the rest of the garbage. But Batcher said there are better, safer ways to dispose of those items. Old paint, light bulbs and batteries can also be returned to hardware stores year-round, he said.
About 240 cars dropped off items at this year's spring event and about 120 at a collection day in Manchester last fall, according to Batcher. This Saturday is the first time they've done one location for residents county-wide.
Look for labels with labels warning a substance is caustic, toxic, corrosive, poison or flammable. The event will take items like: Oil, latex and lead based paint; paint thinner; gasoline; antifreeze; cleaners and degreasers; furniture polish, pesticides; asphalt; mercury items including thermometers; and pool chemicals.
Some waste won't be collected this weekend, including: Used motor oil; radioactive materials; smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; needles and sharps; tires; ammunition and fireworks; pressurized cylinders; furniture; bulky items; mattresses; scrap metal; appliances; and electronic waste.
Clean Harbors Environmental is the firm that will collect and dispose of waste this Saturday. Event sponsors are the Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance, the state Agency of Natural Resources, and the state Agency of Agriculture and Markets.
For more information, visit the Bennington County Solid Waste Alliance website at www.bcswavt.org. An event flyer with a list of hazardous waste to be accepted is also available at http://bit.ly/2cCT0Zf.
Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.