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Ray Laughter heads up the DeSoto County Department of Environmental Services that oversees the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day collection event set for Saturday, Oct. 13 in the Landers Center parking lot in Southaven.

For more than 10 years, DeSoto County residents have had the opportunity to do some fall cleaning and get some items out of the house they no longer need and desire to have on their property.

Saturday, DeSoto County Government will again hold its Household Hazardous Waste Day at the Landers Center southwest corner parking lot, near Venture Drive and Turman Drive in Southaven. Hours will be from 8 a.m.-12 noon.

“We always have a great turnout,” said Ray Laughter, county Director of Environmental Services. “The Board of Supervisors is very proud to be an environmental steward for DeSoto County.”

The morning event will allow DeSoto County citizens, homeowners associations and community organizations to bring items they might otherwise have difficulty getting rid of.

“We will take anything that cannot be poured down the drain,” said Laughter. “If it doesn’t go down the drain, you bring it to us and we’ll properly dispose of it. We’ll even take aerosol cans, any type of car batteries and we’ll take up to five tires from people, even with the rims on them.”

Laughter believes it has been 13 years for the annual disposal day, which he said started before he became the head of the Environmental Services Department. It is funded through a grant and in partnership with state officials.

“It’s a grant-funded program that the board started working on in the early 2000s,” noted Laughter. “(Former Environmental Services official) Jim Bearden worked with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to come up with this program and it’s in partnership with them. MDEQ, because it is a grant-funded program, pays for much of the disposal, because it’s such an expensive process to dispose of what’s considered household hazardous waste and old waste tires.”

There are items that cannot be taken in Saturday’s Waste Day event.

“We won’t take anything that’s radioactive, any drugs, syringes or anything like that,” said Laughter. “We will not take anything from a commercial business. This is strictly for residential citizens.”

The waste material is either recycled or properly disposed of.

“About 60 percent of what we collect is recycled through a company we work with out of Millington, Tenn.,” Laughter noted. “The rest is properly disposed of. We will have trained chemists on site as we’re taking the materials. A lot of the chemicals are properly diluted and broken down so their PH levels are right and then properly disposed of.”

Items also being collected are old paint and electronic waste. Those who may have more than five tires to dispose of should take them to the county rubbish pit, 5255 West Sandidge Road in Olive Branch, for proper recycling.

For more information or to have questions answered, contact Laughter’s office at 662-469-8152 or email rlaughter@desotocountyms.gov.

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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