Annual household hazardous waste day set for Saturday
SUMMIT COUNTY – Stop, before pouring those old paints down the drain, or flushing prescription drugs down the toilet.People might think it’s OK to pour a little bit down the drain every day – that no one will notice – but it’s important to dispose of hazardous wastes properly, said Zach Margolis, joint authority manager for the Silverthorne Dillon Joint Sewer Authority.Saturday, Summit County will hold its seventh annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day – a service which provides county residents a convenient way to dispose of common household hazardous wastes legally.Some might innocently think it’s OK to throw away batteries and solvents in the trash, but such hazardous materials, which end up at the landfill can cause problems down the road, said Summit Recycling Project (SRP) acting director Carly Wier.”It definitely poses a long-term threat to groundwater and the landfill liner,” Wier said. “While people think (landfill linings) last forever, they probably only have a life of about 30 years, especially when presented with corrosive materials.”And pouring materials down the drain or the toilet isn’t any better.”It’s not something our process is designed to treat,” Margolis said. “Wastewater treatment plants are mostly biological treatment processes.”Earlier this year, someone poured a solvent into the sewage system. Margolis said he knew as soon as he walked into the plant.”We could smell it – a very strong solvent type odor throughout the facility,” he said, adding the solvent created a black scum on the surface of their aeration tanks.Margolis had to contact the state health department and the Environmental Protection Agency, and eventually tracked down the violator.Wastewater treatment plants also are not capable of treating dissolved prescription drugs or antibiotics.”Trace amounts of medicines are being found in places where they shouldn’t be,” Margolis said. “It’s a real concern that these things are making it into the streams and waterways and lakes. These things should not go down the drains.”Saturday’s event provides residents a way to dispose of hazardous materials and prescription drugs safely. Additionally, it is an opportunity to learn more, as volunteers will pass out educational brochures on hazardous waste disposal and recycling.Hazardous waste disposal is very expensive, and donations are accepted. Though the average cost per vehicle is generally $100, Wier said the suggested donation amount is $10.Though latex paint is not necessarily considered toxic, Wier said they also will collect latex paint and stains, which will then be donated to Paint Recyclers of Pueblo. Paint Recyclers sorts through the paints and donates reusable paints to senior citizens and reusable stains to ranchers.”With the unusable latex paint, they make adobe bricks,” Wier said. “Basically they substitute the latex paint for water and the final product is a longer-lasting, more durable brick.”SRP will be circulating surveys in a continued effort to gather information for what Wier said SRP hopes is an ongoing hazardous waste collection program – something the organization wants in place by next summer, she said.—When & Where- What: Dispose of old antifreeze, paints, thinners, pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers, poisons, dioxins, gasoline, kerosene, household batteries, chemicals, cleaners, aerosol cans, prescription drugs, glues and adhesives- When: Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.- Where: High Country Training Center in the County Commons, Frisco (Take Highway 9 south from Frisco, turn right at CR 1004, and follow the signs to the back of the complex.) Donations suggested-More info: Contact Summit Recycling Project at (970) 668-5703
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