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— If it was an exam day, then Benton County officials would receive high marks for the county’s first convenience center.

Less than an hour after opening, dozens of people had already taken advantage of the service by bringing unwanted furniture, electronics and other household items for disposal.

The convenience center is located behind the county Road Department in Bentonville, and can be accessed off of Melissa Drive. The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through the end of the year, except the Saturdays following Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The convenience center is being opened to replace the annual fall cleanup day.

Joseph Goodnight of Garfield said he was glad to learn of the convenience center. Goodnight brought an old television and other items.

“It was sitting around just collecting dust,” Goodnight said. “It’s hard to find a place to take an old television.”

Bill Dixon of Rogers also dropped off an old 32-inch Panasonic television. “There’s not many places that take old televisions.”

Dixon said he didn’t know where to take the television until he learned about the county’s convenience center.

“Maybe it will help keep the sides of roads cleaner,” Dixon said.

Jeff Neal was able to dispose of a trailer full of unwanted items, including two sofas.

Neal said if he was disposing of it at any facility, then it would probably cost him $60 per load.

“In these times, anything helps,” Neal said.

All three men believe the county is offering a good service to the public by operating the convenience center.

Benton County Fire Marshal Will Hanna, who was supervising the opening day, said it will serve as a learning tool for the future.

One thing Hanna believes that may be needed is a little manpower in order to help some people unload their vehicles.

One road department worker was there and did assist people, but he also had to operate the grappler to put metal items into the trash bin.

Hanna said he hopes to get some community service workers to come assist people each Saturday.

“Some people are showing up with things and they need a little help,” Hanna said.

Hanna said the different items are being placed in different locations because all the electronic items will be recycled and the county will sell any scrap metal dropped off at the site.

Hanna said people can drop off a maximum of four rimless passenger vehicle tires from each car load, but they must show proof of residency.

“It’s a good deal and we’re just glad to provide the service,” Hanna said.

News, Pages 12 on 11/11/2009

Print Headline: County’s first convenience center opens

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