What to do with those old batteries

Thomasville recycle program launches Oct. 1
Sep. 23, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

Soon the issue of what to do with those dead batteries around the house or at the office will be put to rest in Thomasville.

Daryl Poole, sanitation superintendent at Thomasville Public Works, announced that a recycling program will provide a practical drop-off site for unwanted items beginning Oct. 1.

"Citizens will be able to bring their fluorescent bulbs, batteries and thermostats into us, and we'll box them up, pile them up, and they'll go to a recycler out of South Carolina," said Poole. "Everything is going to be free to the folks."

Hours of operation for this program will run between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Public Works, headquartered at 525 Turner St.

The effort to reinvent area recycling was made possible by a $5,000 annual grant from the Solid Waste Program through the N.C. Department of Waste Management.

"When this program for the state municipal buildings got started doing this, there were some cities that got into this and found out this is kind of expensive to do," Poole said. "In today's budget, we were kind of holding off when Joe Fitzpatrick with the state emailed me one day and said, 'We have a grant available. You ought to apply for it.'"

Poole expects his department will take in all types of batteries — alkaline, rechargeable, lithium ion — as well as mercury thermostats. Most excited by the prospects of being a good steward of city resources, Poole hopes residents will embrace the program.

"Everybody wants to [focus] on the environmental impact," Poole said. "I do see it that way, but I also see that we're offering another service without any additional labor, without any additional cost. Years ago when times got hard, we wanted to do more with less, and this is just part of that process."

Jim White, fleet superintendent for the Public Works, agrees. He believes it is a worthwhile venture, a chance to be rid of needless items without having to pay the disposal cost of improving the environment.

"Anytime we do stuff like this, we improve the landfill," White said. "This is a way for us to serve the community. I live in Thomasville, so I like my town. There are a lot of good people who come through here. We're indebted to them to take care of the earth for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

For more information about what items are collected, times of collection or directions to the Public Works facility,  please call 475-4239.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.