EPA Cleans Up Joplin Tornado Debris

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EPA contractors pick up a refrigerator in Joplin, Mo., as the clean-up after last month’s devastating tornado continues. Photo: Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set up a special drop-off location in Joplin, Mo., to collect appliances, electronics and household hazardous waste (HHW), as part of its clean-up efforts after the city’s devastating tornado on May 22.

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers recently began collecting construction debris and vegetative material in Joplin, but the EPA is asking residents to separate out their e-waste and HHW for drop-off at the new location. Residents can continue to place these items curbside for pick-up by EPA contractors, the EPA said.

The agency said it is making every effort to recycle or reuse collected electronics and appliances including refrigerators, air conditioners and dishwashers. The EPA plans to properly and safely dispose of HHW, such as motor oil, garden pesticides, paint and batteries.

The agency will also retrieve orphaned hazardous containers, such as propane tanks or drums, that were picked up or moved during the tornado.

During last month’s tornado in Joplin, more than 140 people perished, hundreds more were injured and 8,000 structures were destroyed, according to the federal government.

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