Fort Worth taking ammunition, fireworks off the streets

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 11:34 PM

FORT WORTH -- There was a time when an odd discovery in someone's attic would lead to a potentially-dangerous box being dropped off at a neighborhood fire station. And it wasn't all that uncommon.

"Back in the old days, citizens would just bring old ammunition, explosives, and ammo-loading supplies to the fire station and drop it off," said Fort Worth Fire Captain Tim Hardeman, "and that's not how we want to do it today."

The city is holding an ammunition and fireworks collection Saturday. Fort Worth's bomb and arson squad will set up at the city's Environmental Collection Center, at 6400 Bridge St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to collect potentially-dangerous items.

"We're talking about firearm ammunition, whatever firearm ammunition you may have around the house," Hardeman said. "You might have a relative that passed and left some ammo, or maybe you've had some you've stored for a long time. If you don't want to shoot it, you want to get rid of it."

They are also happy to take fireworks off people's hands, even though fireworks are illegal to possess within Fort Worth city limits.

"We won't ask any questions," he said. "This is not an entrapment or a way to catch people with illegal fireworks. All we want to do is give people an opportunity to get rid of these things in a safe way."

The fire department will eventually burn the fireworks and ammunition, which is the only safe way to dispose of the items. They'll collect the lead and recycle it, according to Hardeman.

"Solid waste management does not want these items put in the trash," he said. "Fireworks can become unstable if they get wet and [then] dry out, and ammunition can become unstable, too."

Saturday's event is the first of two planned in 2013. The next will be in July. Hardeman said they scheduled these events so people can dispose of unused fireworks after the New Year's and July 4th holidays.

"If we get these items out of your homes and streets, we know our neighborhoods are safer," he said.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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