City of Beckley holds hazardous waste collection

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The City of Beckley held a hazardous waste collection this weekend.

The city invited people to stop by and dispose of any of their hazardous materials free of charge. According to Tom Lemke, Vice President of the Beckley Area Foundation, hazardous materials can include just about anything that shouldn’t end up in a landfill. 

“We’re collecting household hazardous waste and a few other things that are recyclable like eyeglasses and cellphones. But they’re mostly things that you don’t want to end up in the landfills, or in the sewers or on the side of the road,” Lemke said. 

Hundreds of people showed up for the hazardous waste collection. It’s the first time in years that the city has put on an operation like this, and dozens of volunteers from across the city showed up to help out. Lemke says that a large operation like this can help prevent many dangerous materials from getting into the environment. 

“They affect the environment and they go through the sewer system. And some things go in the landfill and they get leached out, which goes through your groundwater or your streams.”

Unfortunately, disposing of some hazardous objects like batteries, paint or electronics is time consuming, and many people just don’t have the resources to practice good disposal habits. However, the large turnout of these events shows that the community does care about the issue. Lemke says that the last disposal event saw a huge turnout. 

“Last time we had about 650 cars go through, and just judging from the first hour, we had a large number of cars. The parking lot was full at 7:30 A.M. of people waiting in line just to get in.”

Volunteers from across the city showed up to help with disposal. The sheriff’s office, police, fire department, and many other professionals attended to ensure the materials were disposed of safely.

The last time Beckley held a hazardous waste collection was more than four years ago.