At Arena Park, 182 Cape Girardeau residents recently unloaded 14,935 pounds of materials during Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff Day held by the Cape Girardeau Public Works Department. The event was funded by a grant from the Southeast Missouri Solid Waste District.
Providing assistance were 11 additional staff members from the Public Works Department, 12 additional staff members from Inter-Rail Systems Corp., Southeast Missouri State University professor Dr. Steve Overmann and six environmental science students from Southeast.
Materials collected included 6,000 pounds of miscellaneous paints and flammables, 7,000 pounds of latex paint, 375 pounds of aerosol cans, 650 pounds of flammable liquids, 100 pounds of fluorescent lamps, and 2,250 pounds of miscellaneous items including mercury, acids, oxidizers and corrosives, along with 180 gallons of oil and 35 gallons of antifreeze.
Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes causes problems for the entire community because they can be explosive, highly flammable or corrosive. Some are poisonous, while others can cause cancer, birth defects or other medical problems.
These wastes have been banned from landfills because they may contaminate the soil, surface water or underlying ground water. The Water Environment Federation suggests reading product labels before purchasing, buying only as much as you need, following directions on how to use a product and dispose of the container, and using safer substitutes when they are available. Do not pour any waste into storm sewer inlets or manholes.