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Community Pride Week May 17-22

Article Published: May. 13, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Community Pride Week May 17-22

Watauga Riverkeeper Donna Lisenby, WSCO Capt. Kelly Redmon, Watauga Sheriff Len Hagaman and State Bureau of Investigation officer Wade Colvard package medications turned in during Operation Medicine Cabinet in October 2009.

Photo by Melanie Marshall

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners designated May 17-22 as Community Pride Week with the goal of improving the appearance of the county.

Multiple agencies and businesses will partner through the week to coordinate clean up and disposal efforts.

"This week is all about working together to protect and conserve our vast natural resources, which is essential to the continued quality of life for the residents of the County," said Lisa Doty, Watauga County recycling coordinator. "We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for residents to dispose of their waste in an environmentally responsible way."

Throughout the week, the Watauga County Sanitation Department will accept brush, rocks, cement, cement blocks, bricks, asphalt, metal, furniture, appliances and tires at no charge for county residents. Stumps and asphalt shingles will not be accepted. This free-of-charge disposal does not apply to commercial haulers or businesses.

County residents can bring the items to the old landfill location only, located off U.S. 421 just south of the Bamboo Road intersection. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.

On Saturday, the convenience center on Landfill Road will also be accepting paint, used oil, household batteries, lead acid car batteries, antifreeze, ethylene, gasoline, lighter fluid, solid and liquid pesticides, oxidizers, household cleaners and fluorescent lights. This service will be free of charge for residents and does not apply to commercial waste.

Watauga County Sanitation Department, Watauga County Cooperative Extension Service and N.C. Department of Agriculture are sponsoring this disposal, with special thanks to the county maintenance department and the Town of Boone.

Operation Medicine Cabinet, coordinated through the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, will be held Saturday. This is an opportunity for residents to clean out medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications to prevent them from ending up in water supplies or the hands of children.

Operation Medicine Cabinet will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all county Food Lion locations and the Foscoe Fire Department. Officers and representatives of Boone Drug will be on site to collect the drugs and medical supplies with no questions asked.

For years, citizens were advised to dispose of medications by flushing them, however, trace amounts are now being detected in drinking water. Wastewater processing does not remove all of the chemicals.

Operation Medicine Cabinet was first organized in October 2009 as a means to safely dispose of medication through a partnership between WCSO, Boone Drug and Watauga Riverkeeper.

That inaugural operation netted one and a half 55-gallon drums full of various medications.

For more information on any of the Community Pride Week events or recycling questions call Doty at (828) 265-4852 or (828) 264-5305.

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