Thursday, July 14, 2011
HOUSEHOLD WASTE EVENT COLLECTS 70,000-PLUS POUNDS OF MATERIAL
More than 70,000 pounds of flammable, poisonous and otherwise dangerous materials were safely collected from local residents in the inaugural Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, June 11.
A total of 545 vehicles visited the drop-off site at the Warrenton-Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton to dispose of old paint, bug-killer, motor oil and other items, free of charge.
The collection day was organized through the Clatsop County Household Hazardous Waste Program, a collaborative project between the county, local cities, Western Oregon Waste (WOW) and other stakeholders designed to develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing and properly disposing of residential hazardous waste.
The day-long event was the first of what the county hopes to make an annual program that will allow county residents to get rid of potentially hazardous items cluttering up their cupboards, basements and garages.
“In general we consider the collection event definitely a success, when I look at how much toxic, flammable, poisonous material has been removed from people’s homes and is now out of the presence of kids and pets, our neighborhoods and out of the stream of inappropriate disposal methods,” said Maureen Taylor, Household Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator.
WOW staff and Astoria CERT Team volunteers assisted at the event, which was also supported by the Oregon Department of Transportation, United Site Services, Port of Astoria and City of Astoria.
More than a third of the material collected consisted of home paint products. Pesticides and other poisons were the second-biggest category of waste.
Here is a break-down of the waste collected:
· 28,000 pounds of home paint products
· 18,000 pounds of pesticides/poisons/toxic compounds
· 11,000 pounds of paint-related materials i.e. tars and adhesives
· 9,000 pounds of toxic, flammable liquids
· 1,600 pounds of corrosive, caustic, reactive, acid-type liquids
· 1,200 pounds of fluorescent light tubes
· 460 pounds of antifreeze
· 365 pounds of engine batteries
· 31 pounds of mercury
· 8 pounds of cyanide
Total – 70,567 pounds
The material was collected by Clean Harbors, a hazardous waste management company, whose personnel removed the items from vehicles and sorted it for disposal. Car batteries, latex paint and antifreeze is recycled; gasoline, diesel fuel, motor oil, oil-based paints and solvents are burned as fuel; pesticides and poisons are incinerated.
The Household Hazardous Waste Program, including the collection day event, is funded by a small surcharge on solid waste processed at Western Oregon Waste’s Astoria transfer station.
Program organizers have tentatively planned the next collection event for the south county in spring of 2012.
For people who missed the event or still have materials they would like to get rid of, there are a number of local options:
· The WOW transfer station in Astoria will accept the following items at no charge: old VCRs and DVD players, cell phones, monitors, vehicle batteries, rechargeable batteries and cell phone batteries, non-contaminated motor oil. Auto tires will be accepted for a fee.
· Astoria City Lumber, Builders Supply in Astoria and Gearhart and Sherwin Williams in Gearhart will accept paints, stains, sealers and related materials through the Paintcare Program. Go to http://www.paintcare.org/ for more information.
· Home Depot in Warrenton will also accept vehicle batteries, rechargeable, NiCad and non-automotive lead batteries and CFL light bulbs.
If you wish to hold on to the materials until next year’s collection event, make sure the containers are well-sealed, pack them in a sturdy box, and store them out of reach of children and pets.
For more information on safe use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, go to the following links:
· Western Oregon Waste – http://www.westernoregonwaste.com/
· Earth 911 recycling information – http://www.earth911.com/
· Oregon Department of Environmental Quality – www.dep.state.or.us/lq/hw/index.htm
· Clatsop County Public Health – http://www.co.clatsop.or.us/
Community Relations Coordinator