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    For Oldsmar, it's time to trundle out the trash

    Tired of tripping over all those old paint cans you've been saving for years? Well, do we have a deal for you.

    By JULIE CHURCH

    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2001


    OLDSMAR -- The city of Oldsmar offers two opportunities for people to rid their homes of unwanted and hazardous items this week.

    On Saturday, the city is working with Pinellas County to offer all county residents a chance to get rid of hazardous chemicals and other items that are unsafe to dispose of in the regular trash pickup. Household chemical collection times will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the city's Municipal Services Center, 300 Commerce Blvd.

    The collection days are held in different locations throughout the county several times per year to encourage residents to dispose of chemicals and other dangerous items correctly.

    Unlike businesses, residents are not fined when they dispose of chemicals, automotive batteries and paints in their regular trash, but it creates dangerous conditions for the people who pick up the trash, said county solid waste technician Anthony Sullivan.

    "When you place chemicals in the trash, it creates a hazard to the sanitation workers, because they don't know what's in there," Sullivan said. "The trash load could catch on fire."

    In addition, Sullivan said that when chemicals are not disposed of properly, they run the risk of leaking into the water supply.

    While televisions, telephones, computers and VCRs are not necessarily dangerous if disposed of in the regular trash load, the county contracts with a company that recycles these items.

    Included in the household chemical collection day are fertilizer, fluorescent light bulbs, paints, thinners, solvents, preservatives, batteries, pool chemicals, oil, auto fluids, household chemicals, computers, VCRs and televisions.

    Residents should not bring gasoline, kerosene, ammunition, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, explosives, infectious waste or gas cylinders.

    Sullivan suggests residents contact their local police department for disposal of explosives and the fire department to dispose of old fire extinguishers.

    The city of Oldsmar also is holding its annual Spring Clean Up for city residents this week. Spring Clean Up offers the opportunity to get rid of unused and unwanted bulky items that have been lying around the house by placing them out with the regular trash.

    On regularly scheduled pickup days Monday through Saturday, city residents are urged to haul appliances, furniture, rolls of carpet and just about anything else that has been gathering dust to the curb where it will be picked up with the regular trash that day.

    "We like to see our residents have the opportunity to clean up their porches, backyards and anyplace they have stuff to get rid of,"' said Bob Cyr, assistant public works director for the city.

    Yard debris is eligible for pickup, but Cyr says tree limbs must be no larger than three inches in diameter and no longer than 4 feet. Yard debris must be bundled.

    Cinder blocks, tree stumps and other concrete products are just too heavy to be picked up with the other trash, so they are not allowed.

    Cyr said the city offers the cleanup weeks twice a year as a service to residents and to keep items from being disposed of illegally.

    "We generally don't have any problems," he said. "People follow the rules."

    -- Staff writer Julie Church can be reached at (727) 445-4229 or church@sptimes.com.

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