by B. Ellie Arnould, Solid Waste Programs Coordinator, Passaic County Office of Recycling and Solid Waste Programs, October 1996.
Heavy rains, strong winds and area flooding did nothing to hold back Passaic County residents from coming to the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Event on Saturday, October 19, 1996.
With the largest turnout to date, oil paints, thinners, pesticides, used motor oil, pool chemicals and more were dropped off at the Wayne location, even as the dangerous storm blew through the area.
B. Ellie Arnould, Solid Waste Programs Coordinator stated that, “the one day event ran very smoothly with a consistantly heavy turnout continuing all day. More than 875 cars braved the weather to drop off more than 42,000 pounds of toxic materials for proper disposal.”
The Passaic County Office of Recycling and Solid Waste Programs, in charge of the collection events, keeps careful records which showed that this year the collection day saw a 39 percent increase in the amount of bulk hazardous waste brought in.
With the public now understanding the need for safe handling and appropriate disposal of potentially dangerous products, the collection days have seen consistently increasing participation. Last year the County hosted two such events.
Rain-soaked staff and volunteers alike, which included several Municipal Coordinators, high school students and corporate professionals, knew their efforts were appreciated by residents who took the time to express their thanks during the day.
As Stephanie Slota, a 4-H Environmental Project volunteer from Wanaque stated, “I felt like I was really helping to make a difference when I saw just how many people want to do the right thing.”
Preliminary figures released by Bob Wyle, the program manager showed just how little an impact the bad weather had on public participation:
|Bulk HHW||24,522 lbs.||34,180 lbs.||39%|
|Household Batteries||1,973 lbs.||4,377 lbs.||122%|
|Used Motor Oil||1,800 gal.||1,800 gal||0%|
The program is a collaborative effort, with help from the County Road Department, Buildings and Grounds, Sheriff’s Department, Weights and Measures, Paratransit, Health Department and the Passaic County Utilities Authority.
In addition to the collection events, the Office of Recycling and Solid Waste Programs offers information on the proper handling of toxic materials, as well as information on how to choose safer, alternative products.