GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC — An incident that shut down a Georgetown County recycling center and led a hazmat team, DHEC and the state Highway Patrol to be called on Aug. 13 was traced to the improper disposal of a car battery.
It’s an excellent example of why it’s important for residents to follow recycling convenience center rules and dispose of potentially hazardous items as directed, officials said. They could end up paying thousands of dollars in emergency response costs otherwise.
The battery was placed in a roll-off container for household waste at the Pawleys Island Recycling Convenience Center on Grate Avenue. An employee at the center noticed something that looked like smoke rising from the container and, upon investigation, discovered a liquid substance that appeared to be eating through the side of the container. He reported the substance at around 9 a.m. and Midway Fire Rescue responded with its hazmat team to contain and identify the substance, ensuring it didn’t pose a risk to employees at the center or residents of the surrounding community.
“All this occurred because someone did not dispose of a car battery properly, and the center employees, residents and rescue workers were put at risk,” said Midway Chief Doug Eggiman. “It’s definitely a teachable moment and demonstrates how much trouble such a simple thing can bring about.”
Midway determined the cost for their response totaled nearly $4,000. This does not include staff time from any other departments or agencies. Federal law allows emergency response departments to bill parties responsible for such incidents for all costs associated with handling a call. Had the responsible party been identified in this case, improper disposal of a car battery could potentially have been a very costly error.
This story was taken from a Press Release.