BELTON — Even though there is a service that will pick up hazardous household waste in Belton, few people are taking advantage of the program.
Only about 12 people out of about 19,500 Belton residents are using the collection program available to anyone living within city limits.
The service, called At Your Door Special Collection, is offered by Waste Management, which handles the city’s recycling and garbage disposal. Anyone who chooses to have their hazardous waste collected at their houses will not be billed an additional charge.
Paul Romer, the city’s public information officer, said he believes residents don’t use the program frequently for two reasons: not many people know about it, and those who do know wait until they accumulate a large amount of waste before they request a pickup.
The service, which is an extension of Waste Management’s recycling program, allows residents to place potentially harmful waste materials such as paint, batteries, oil electronics and household chemicals into bags that will be picked up at the doorstep.
Waste Management will give the bags to anyone who requests them.
“It’s pretty simple,” Utility Billing Supervisor Amanda Cox said of the collection process. She said she believes most people don’t know the service exists.
Usually, people discover the program when they call the Waste Management office to ask how to dispose of their hazardous waste, she said.
Waste Management annually sends out a flier, included in a bill, to inform residents of the service, but many people might not pay attention to it.
“If I see something extra in my bill, I might just throw it out,” Cox said.
She gave several reasons for giving hazardous materials the special treatment that sets it apart from ordinary trash.
Hypodermic needles thrown into a garbage can or regular recycling bin can injure waste collection workers.
Also, broken glass tubes from televisions, as well as paint cans, emit harmful fumes, and corrosive liquid can seep from batteries.
For information about the service, call 1-800-449-7587 or go to www.wmatyourdoor.com