BOPAE numbers released by MHKAB, fall 2019 collection event was a ‘huge success’

Volunteers from JTEKT, Tuff Torq, Enterprise Oil, Morristown-Hamblen Keep America Beautiful, and Morristown and Hamblen County government assisted with the fall BOPAE.

The Seventh Annual B.O.P.A.E. event held by Morristown-Hamblen Keep America Beautiful in October was a huge success, and that fact was bolstered by final numbers released by MHKAB.

A total of 27,554 pounds of waste was collected.

B.O.P.A.E., an acronym from the words batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, and electronics, received more than 230 participants, an increase from 200 in 2018.

Products dropped off included 1,002 pounds of batteries; 6,524 pounds of paint, 9,960 pounds of electronic waste, 4,712 pounds of WTE, 5,021 pounds of used oil, 335 pounds of light bulbs and universal waste.

The collection was held at JTEKT plant No. 3 on Commerce Boulevard in the Morristown Airport Industrial District.

The community-based event was hosted by JTEKT, Tuff Torq, and Enterprise Oil. Also included in collaboration was the local Keep America Beautiful affiliate: Keep Morristown Hamblen Beautiful. This event was also supported by Hamblen County Government and the City of Morristown.

The event was provided to all of Hamblen County residents at no charge. Volunteer staff came from each of the host companies.

B.O.P.A.E. is an acronym from the word’s batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, and electronics. The event is a zero-landfill event, which means all waste is recycled or disposed of in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways. Aside from batteries, motor oil, paint, antifreeze and electronics, the event was able to take other household items such as paper, cardboard, and metal. The materials, collectively called BOPAE, comprise about 85 percent of the waste brought into the Household Hazardous Waste Events. The materials, when handled correctly, are only slightly hazardous and inappropriate for collection at Household Hazardous Waste Events, if other collection opportunities exist.

Tennessee began promoting BOPAE collection events in 2007 to supplement the existing Household Hazardous Waste program by providing additional free disposal options for residents at minimal cost to the State. The money saved by diverting BOPAE materials from the HHW Program can be used to collect the more hazardous materials across the state, potentially funding additional HHW Events.

While BOPAE materials are considered only mildly hazardous, they do exhibit some characteristics that prevent them from being disposed of with the regular garbage. Some batteries have corrosive, toxic, and/or reactive properties. Automotive fluids such as used motor oil and most antifreezes are toxic. Oil-based paints are flammable. Electronics often have toxic components.

Sharon Loy with JTEKT, Mike Haag with Tuff Torq, Mike Toney with Enterprise Oil, and Shandi Hill with Keep Morristown Hamblen Beautiful all agree that proper storage and disposal is necessary for the environment.

Type of containers that work best for storing:

• Used motor oil - drain pans with lids or containers with a pour spout and closed lid.

• Small batteries - an individual baggie and for large batteries in plastic lined box.

• Oil based paint - stored in their original container, provided the can is still in good shape.

• Electronics- kept dry and stored low to the ground to prevent the chance of injury in case they fall over.

To further reduce the chance of accidental injuries, it is advisable to buy the right amount of BOPAE materials, use all that you buy, and safely store the material until your next BOPAE collection event or Household Hazardous Waste event.

For more information about the BOPAE Collection, call the Keep Morristown-Hamblen Beautiful office at 423-586-6422.