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April 2013 Column - Erie County to host Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days


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oneilj - Posted on 04 April 2013

Twice a year, Erie County hosts Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days to collect various materials that have been stored at homes. Keeping such materials around the home or throwing it out in the weekly trash can be very dangerous.

The Drop-Off Days are an easy and convenient way to properly dispose of materials. Historically these events have been very well attended, and workers are extremely efficient to ensure safe collection of the items, while limiting the wait time.

This year, the county’s Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days are:

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Erie Community College North Campus. Enter from Wehrle Drive.

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Erie Community College South Campus. Enter from Big Tree Road, Route 20A via Abbott Road.

The following items will be accepted: pesticides, fertilizers, pool and household items; chemicals/cleaners, with a limit of two gallons or 20 pounds; oil-based paints and spray cans, with a limit of 10 gallons; oil, gasoline, kerosene and antifreeze, with a limit of 10 gallons; paint thinner, stripper and solvents, with a limit of two gallons; batteries, both lead acid and rechargeable; mercury, including thermometers, thermostats and metal; and propane tanks and cylinders, either full or empty. Items that can’t be accepted include tires, latex paint, fluorescent light bulbs, computers, appliances and commercial and industrial waste.

Residents have inquired as to where the collected materials go. The county’s Environment and Planning Department recently explained that final disposition of the hazardous products depends on the material. Some of the materials are recycled, such as lead acid batteries, which are 100 percent recycled into new batteries. The same goes for some of the rechargeable batteries, oil and antifreeze. Propane tanks are evacuated, and the metal is recycled. Flammable materials such as gasoline and paint are often fuel-blended for use in the manufacturing of cement. In many situations where materials can’t be reused, they are incinerated.

The Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days are very valuable to our community, greatly decreasing the impact these materials would have on our environment if they were tossed directly into the trash, landfill or waterways. If you have any acceptable materials in your home, please plan to drop them off at one of the two events where they will be recycled or reused where possible and disposed of properly.

 

If you have any questions, contact me at 858-8850, or email john.mills@erie.gov.