Hazardous waste event still growing

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Last year 142 residents of Lawrence and Scioto counties dropped off unwanted paints, computer monitors, tires and other items at the second annual household hazardous waste collection event at Dow Chemical in Hamilton Township.

Organizers predict that, given the inquiries they’ve fielded already and interest shown in the event, the turnout for this year’s edition will likely be larger.

The household hazardous waste collection event will be Saturday, Sept. 27 and will again be at Dow Chemical.

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“I’m hoping for 150 vehicles. We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and people are logging onto the website and getting information,” Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer said. “We couldn’t have a better site. Dow is ideally situated and what we’re hoping for now is good weather.”

The event will allow residents of both counties to dispose of old paint and paint products, household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, tires and other items that can’t be taken to a regular waste landfill.

Residents do not need to leave their cars. Community service workers and other volunteers will unload the unwanted items, sort and stack them for shipment. Participants do need to bring proof of residency.

The household hazardous waste collection event is jointly sponsored by the solid waste district, Dow Chemical, Americas Styrenics and Veolia. It is the third year Veolia and Dow have sponsored the event.

“We’re pleased to be involved in the community and help provide this simple service,” Dow Site Manager Troy DeHoff said.

Americas Styrenics Site Manager Carl Darling said the event enables people to be responsible citizens by properly disposing of hazardous items they no longer need.

“People have no other place to appropriately dispose of these items,” Darling said. “And this is fun to do. People are so appreciative.”

Veolia Project Manager Jerry Dillman agreed. “Instead of dropping it in a creek or letting your kids play with it, they can bring these chemicals to us. Some of this stuff is pretty dangerous,” Dillman said.

Stephanie Helms, solid waste education coordinator, said the unwanted items run the gamut from typical (motor oil) to the unexpected.

“One year we got frogs,” she mused. The frogs, preserved in formaldehyde, were part of a school science lab study and had been kept in someone’s garage. Because the frogs were kept in a hazardous chemical, the owner thought it best to bring his lab work to the cleanup.

Last year, the list of collected items included 32 batteries, 800 tires, 500 pounds of aerosols and flammables, 6,450 pounds of latex paints, 460 pounds of flammable liquids, 15 pounds of alkaline batteries, 450 pounds

of environmentally hazardous substances, and 8,100 pounds of paint-related materials.

The household hazardous waste collection event will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Signs will be posted along U.S. 52 directing participants to the Dow plant.

Items that will be accepted include old car tires (limit 6 per person, tires must be off the rim), lead acid batteries, electronics such as cell phones, computer keyboards and monitors, used anti-freeze, paint, paint thinner and solvents, pesticides and herbicides and swimming pool chemicals.

Items that will not be accepted include, explosives, ammunition, household trash, medical waste, yard waste, heating oil tanks, fuel tanks, televisions and other appliances.