Tag Archives: Danger

2006-10-04 – ANJHHWC Meeting Minutes

Location: Atlantic County Wastewater Treatment Complex, home of the windmills!

Call to Order – The meeting was opened by President Diana Vigilante at 10:15 a.m. at the Atlantic County Wastewater Treatment Complex, home of the windmills!

Diana Vigilante reported that DOT Training, which is required every three (3) years, has been set up for Wednesday, February 28th at the Middlesex County Fire Academy .  An instructor from UMDNJ will be providing the training and there is a limit of 25 students.  Cost is $100 per person.  Contact Carole Tolmachewich from Middlesex County for registration information.

A discussion was held regarding our upcoming Holiday Meeting/Luncheon.  Alan Fortier from Monmouth County offered to contact Supreme Recycling to see if they would provide a facility tour for our December meeting.  [Holiday meeting was planned for December 6th in Ocean County with a luncheon at Charlie Browns with a tour of Supreme to follow].

Nomination Committee

Terms for all current officers expire at year end so a nomination committee is needed for 2007.   Fred Stanger volunteered to head committee and Melinda Williams will assist.


Fred Stanger from Middlesex County asked if other counties were having issues with flares (especially boat flares).  These are not accepted by vendors at Household Hazardous Waste Days.  Vincent Mroz, Operations Manager for Clean Harbors Environmental Services, explained that boat flares are explosive and shipping them with other waste is a major concern.

Ron Berenato said that Dennis DeMatte said that he thought marinas may need to accept them back.  Melinda Williams suggested we reach out to a manufacturer.  Fred offered to call.

All Household Hazardous Waste bids for Clean Harbors should be sent to:

Vincent Mroz
2858 Route 322
P.O. Box 337
Bridgeport , NJ 08014
(856) 467-7443)

County Updates

  • Hudson County reported that Panasonic and Sony worked with the County and paid for all their electronics recycling.  Best Buy donated 300 $10 gift cards for the first 300 customers in line!!
  • Other counties provided updates on HHW events, electronics, thermometer exchanges, etc.

Wastewater Treatment Facility

Speaker: President of the Atlantic County Wastewater Treatment Facility Richard Dovey provided an overview of Atlantic County ’s Green Energy initiatives.

The Wind Farm Project fully came on line in July of 2006.  The project was bid in February of 2005 so there was a quick turn around time from start to finish.  This is the second largest windmill in NJ and 60% of project was rebated from BPU.  Remaining funds were borrowed from NJ Environmental Trust at a 1% interest rate!  Maintenance on solar farm is close to nil.  Life expectancy of windmills is about 10 years.  They are saving about $35,000 in electricity at facility.  ACAU owns it and bids out “green” credits.  Currently selling for $220 per credit.

Atlantic City Waste Treatment Facility has largest biodiesel fuel fleet in the state.  They currently have 120 vehicles that run on biodiesel (B20).  State contract vendor is in Woodruff.  Biodiesel is slightly more expensive than diesel but has less pollution.  They have also purchased several hybrid vehicles – the BPU is offsetting costs through rebates  for each vehicle purchased.  GM’s Silverado is on state contract.


Meeting was adjourned at 12:15 pm. for a quick lunch before the tour of the facility.  Everyone joined Diana Vigilante in thanking Ron Berenato from the ACUA for providing lunch and being such a gracious host.


1999-09-09 – ANJHHWC Meeting Minutes

Location: Somerville, Somerset County, NJ.
Prepared by Fred Stanger (Hip-Hip Horay for Fred!!!)


County Representatives

  • Rich Baroch, Bergen County
  • Greg Hulse, Monmouth County
  • Mark Vangieri, Bergen County
  • Laura Macpherson, Morris County
  • Ken Atkinson, Gloucester County
  • Larry Gindoff, Morris County
  • Mary-Ellen Gilpin, Hudson County
  • B. Ellie Arnould, Passaic County
  • Nick Staniewicz, Hudson County
  • Diana Vigilante, Somerset County
  • Fred Stanger, Middlesex County
  • John Cannata, Sussex County
  • Carole Tolmachewich, Middlesex County
  • JoAnn Gemenden, Union County
  • Alain Fortier, Monmouth County
  • William Carner, Warren County

Other Attendees

  • John V. Tekin Jr, Radiac Research Corp.
  • Mike Adelsberger, Curbside Inc.
  • Rich Rosfjord, NJIT Technical Assistance Program
  • Lorraine Graves, US EPA Region II
  • Ralph Davis, NJ DEP
  • Priscilla Hayes, Rutgers University
  • Paul DiGiulio, AETS (now Onyx Environmental Services)

The meeting was called to order by Ken Atkinson at 10:10 a.m.

Priscilla Hayes – Rutgers Solid Waste Policy Group:

Priscilla Hayes from Rutgers University gave an overview of the Rutgers University Solid Waste Policy Group. The concept behind the group is to combine Rutgers U. resources with other resources to solve real life problems.

The group has been broken down into 3 areas, or projects: 1. Demographics of Waste, 2. Food Residuals and 3. Hazardous Waste Diversion, the later discussed in more detail following the ANJHHWC meeting.

Those interested in learning more or becoming more involved can contact Priscilla at (732) 932-1966 or hayes@aesop.rutgers.edu

Richard Rosfjord – NJIT Technical Assistance Program:

Rich Rosfjord from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Technical Assistance Program (TAP) gave an overview of the TAP program and an excellent review of the Federal regulations as it relates to large, small and conditionally exempt hazardous waste generators.

NJIT TAP offers free and confidential consulting to small businesses (i.e. 100 employees or less) in order to assist with reducing or eliminating the need to dispose of hazardous waste. The program concentrates on ‘in process’ methods as opposed to ‘end of pipe’ solutions. Suggestions as simple as covering stored material to reduce air emissions is just one example of how the TAP program helped one business. Examples of businesses that could benefit include auto body shops and dry cleaners.

For more information please contact Rich Rosfjord at (973) 596-8195, rosfjord@admin.njit.edu or visit http://www.cees.njit.edu/njtap/index.htm.

Chemical Reactions with Paul DiGiulio, – AETS

Paul DiGiulio, from AETS (which is now called Onyx Environmental Services) gave a presentation on chemical reactions. He showed a very interesting 10 min. video produced by AETS in 1988 demonstrating chemical reactions. The video presented 6 categories of chemical reactions: 1. oxidizing liquids, 2. water exposure, 3. air exposure, 4. temperature sensitive, 5. spontaneous combustibles and 6. shock sensitive materials.

Some problematic HHW materials include: Wet chlorine pellets (emit chlorine gas). Advise residents to keep it dry! Short circuiting batteries. Prevent fires or explosions by taping the positive and negative terminals to avoid contact with other batteries. Some batteries may still have a charge. Never mix bleach and ammonia!

The Association asked Paul if it is possible to have a copy of the video and Paul said he would look into it. You can reach Paul at the Onyx office in Flanders, NJ by calling (973) 347-711 or (800) 426-2382.

EPA Clean Sweep Update

Fred Stanger and Carole Tolmachewich completed a grant application which was sent to the EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs (in D.C.) asking for $2550.00 to conduct a survey to determine the amount of pesticides in NJ that requires proper disposal. The grant application asked for Clean Sweep proposals; actual collections of targeted pesticides. ANJHHWC decided it is more important to discover if a Clean Sweep project is necessary before seeking funding for disposal.

ANJHHWC Video Update

ANJHHWC is still looking into having a video produced to highlight HHW issues. We are also interested in having public service announcements (PSA’s) and we may look into the idea of customizing existing PSA’s from Earth’s 911. See below for more info. on Earth’s 911. We hope to send out proposals soon to get quotes for a 10-15 minute video. If anyone knows of a company that we should send the proposal to, please contact Carole T. at (732) 745-4170 or e-mail mcdswm@superlink.net.

Earth’s 911 is a national hotline and web site designed to keep USA residents informed about local recycling and HHW markets, etc. by zip code. You can call 1 800 CLEANUP or view the info (and PSA’s) at www.1800cleanup.org. HHW coordinators are encouraged to contact Anne Reichman, Director of States Coordination by e-mail, areichman@cleanup.org or phone (602) 224-5444 (Arizona) to update the information.

ANJHHWC Newsletter

Carole T. asked for volunteers to write articles for the next newsletter. It was suggested that Bergen County write a story about their large scale events. The newsletter committee will meet in October.

Vendor Chat

  • John Tekin Jr. from Radiac reported that they are working with several NJ Counties this year and look forward to bidding on programs for next year.
  • Mike Adelsberger from Curbside Inc. reported having contracts with entities in PA, NJ IL, MI, and 36 programs in CA. They collect on average 160 lbs. of material from households, which, Mike reports, is 2x the national average.

SWANA Awards Winners

Morris County and Middlesex County received the Silver and Bronze Award respectively for the Special Waste Category given by SWANA. The Awards will be presented at the 1999 WASTECON Conference in Reno NV in October.

NJDEP Update

Ralph Davis reported that the DEP is holding the first in a series of meetings to address the re-adoption of the Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste and Used Motor Oil regulations. The first meeting will be held on Sept. 16th.

Mr. Davis also talked about mercury issues. Fred Stanger interjected and told of his attendance to the Mercury Task Force meeting held on Aug. 13th at the DEP. The Mercury Task Force will be concentrating on outreach, and will want to work together with ANJHHWC to accomplish this. The first thing HHW coordinators can do to help is to keep an inventory of the sources of mercury collected via HHW events/facilities. Then the task force can determine where to focus outreach efforts.

Sue Shannon from the DEP is involved with the Mercury Task Force and can be reached by calling (609) 292-1156 or e-mail: sshannon@dep.state.nj.us

Mr. Davis went on to discuss and stress that HHW should be disposed of like any RCRA waste, and that all counties should take measures by editing their bid specs if required to ensure proper disposal. He also mentioned that to award an HHW bid, any bidder must have an A-901 license.

The issue of DEP inspectors visiting HHW events/sites has re-surfaced. Expect the possibility of a site visit.

EPA Update – Lorraine Graves, Region II

Lorraine spoke briefly about 2 non HHW related events planned.

1. ‘Buying Recycled: The Real Story about Cost, Availability and Quality’ is the name of a teleconference to take place on November 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. Learn more by visiting www.epa.gov/wastewise and click on Satellite Forum. The event will be taped at the EPA at 290 Broadway in NY, NY. To find out where to attend in New Jersey, visit


2. A Multifamily / High Rise Recycling Workshop will take place on Thursday October 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the EPA office at 290 Broadway, 27th Floor in New York, NY. It is being presented by The Municipal Waste Management Association, an affiliate of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and featuring Barbara J. Stephens, Ph.D., President of Ecodata, Inc.

Lorraine also spoke about how the American Hospital Association put in place an agreement to reduce mercury pollution within 10 years by eliminating emissions by 2005 and by cutting back the use of mercury 30% by 2005 and by 50% by 2010. They are also looking at ways to reduce other bio-accumulative toxins.

You can reach Lorraine by phone at 212-637-4099 or e-mail graves.lorraine@epamail.epa.gov


Meeting adjourned at approximately 1:00 pm.

1999-06-16 and 17 – ANJHHWC Meeting Minutes

Location: Mullica Hill, Gloucester County, NJ


  • Gregory Sharp, Wade Environmental
  • Allen Winn, Burlington County
  • Matt Hood, Burlington County
  • John Cannata, Sussex County
  • Jack Sworaski, Camden County
  • Ken Atkinson, Gloucester County
  • Diana Vigilante, Somerset County
  • Laura Macpherson, Morris County
  • Alain Fortier, Monmouth County
  • Virginia Lamb, Monmouth County
  • James Witte, Focus Recycling Systems
  • Carole Tolmachewich, Middlesex County
  • Fred Stanger, Middlesex County
  • B. Ellie Arnould, Passaic County
  • Rich Baroch, Bergen County
  • Ralph Davis, NJ DEP
  • Mary-Jo Kennelly, Clean Venture Inc.
  • Chris DiVirgilio, Camden Co. Bomb Squad

The meeting was called to order by Ken Atkinson at 10:25 a.m.


Fred Stanger made a brief presentation. He was one of 3 people in NJ to receive a package from the EPA seeking applicants to apply for a grant to fund a clean up of pesticides from farmers known as a ‘Clean Sweep’ program. He was not sure ANJHHWC was permitted to apply (since then has received the go ahead) but wanted feedback on whether it’s worthwhile to pursue.

County Update

Gloucester County has held one Recycling/Reuse day on 4/24 and had 368 cars and collected over 40,000 lbs. of material at a cost of $13,900. They had an HHW on 5/1 and had 682 cars and collected over 75,000 lbs. of material at a cost of $21,500. They plan to have 2 more Recycle/Ruse Days and 1 more HHW day this year and plan to add 4 Recycle/Reuse days for 2000. Wade Environmental is their current contractor.

Middlesex County has held 3 HHW days so far and has 4 more scheduled. 1,635 cars came through the first 3 events. Clean Venture/Cycle Chem is their contractor, bid on a per car basis @ $0.00 / car with a flat fee of $27,333.00 per event. The permanent paint and paint related products program has collected 125,417 lbs. of material between Jan. 1 and June 30. Their contractor is Focus Recycling Systems at 36.99 cents / lb.

Sussex County held one HHW event on 6/5 and had 417 cars and collected between 25 and 27 tons of material. They are holding a 2nd event in November. Their contractor is AETS on a per pound basis @ 49 cents per lb.

Monmouth County has accepted over 200,000 lbs. of material at their permanent facility since the beginning of the year. They pay 8 cents per pound for transportation/disposal. They average 100 cars per week and they are a week behind in scheduling appointments (very busy!). They held 1 HHW day in April and are holding another one later this year.

Camden County has held 2 HHW days and collected 123,000 lbs. of material at 34.6 cents / lb. They also had 1 paint only day and collected 8,000 lbs. at 25 cents / lb. Their contractor for both events is Clean Venture/Cycle Chem. They plan to have 2 more HHW events and 3 more Paint only days.

Passaic County has held 2 HHW days and had 971 homeowners and 16 businesses attend. A total of 50.5 tons of material was collected by Clean Venture/Cycle Chem at a rate of $26 per car. There will be 1 more HHW day in the fall.

Morris County has accepted over 100,000 lbs. of material at their permanent center in one year from 800 cars (including businesses). They charge their residents who bring latex paint. Their contractor is AETS on a per pound basis @58 cents / lb. They also had 2 HHW days and had 1200 participants at $38/car contracted out to Remtech (who is being bought by Clean Venture/Cycle Chem.)

Somerset County has held 2 HHW events and had 1,569 participants at $27/car. Their contractor is Radiac Research Corp. They plan to hold 2 more events.

Burlington County has taken in over 200,000 lbs. of material at their permanent facility so far this year, equating to about 1,700 cars. They are open Tues. through Sat. Two thirds of the material is from DPW’s. They also have been seeing out of county residents show up i.e. Mercer and Camden county residents who are charged by weight per waste stream.

Bergen County has held 1 HHW day and serviced 2,400 cars at $26.96 / car and their contractor is Radiac Research Corp. They also held 1 paint only day, a new venture, and serviced 410 cars without much advertising at 33 cents / lb. with a $2,000 set up fee and that contractor is Focus Recycling Systems. They plan to have 1 more HHW event and 3 more paint only events for 1999.

NJ DEP –  Ralph Davis- Based on national trends, and tying in with the National Task Force on Mercury, the DEP is suggesting that we pay particular attention to the amount of mercury we are collecting at our events. That also means to pay attention to the amount of fluorescent light bulbs being collected, if applicable. We might be asked to give data on quantities collected in the future.

Mr. Davis is also examining the wording in our contracts with regard to keeping track of this ‘unregulated’ waste (HHW being exempt from RCRA, etc). Please send him a copy of your bid specs if you have not yet done so. He suggested 5 ways to improve your contracts:

  1. Require that HHW that would be considered hazardous to be treated as hazardous
  2. Have bidder include in submittal a list of the TSD’s that will be used
  3. Require Cert.of Disposal/Destruction and/or copies of all outgoing manifests and withhold a meaningful amount of payment until you get them (ie. 10-20%)
  4. Make contractor solely and totally responsible for packaging, transporting, and disposal.
  5. Use hazardous waste manifests

Vendor Chat

  • Gregory Sharp from Wade Environmental reported having secured contracts with Gloucester, Cumberland, Atlantic and Salem counties. They are waiting for a general permit to begin operating in Philadelphia as a consolidation point.
  • Mary Jo Kennelly from Clean Venture/Cycle Chem has been very busy attending Southern NJ HHW events including Camden, Ocean and Cape May counties. She is now located in Camden at the oil/water and oily solvents processing facility previously owned by Remtech. You can reach her at (856) 365-5544 or via fax at (856) 365-0801. (editors note, So. Jersey has a new area code!)
  • James Witte of Focus Recycling Systems mentions that Focus has entered their 4th year into the business since starting in 1995. They have contracts with Middlesex and Bergen counties for paint recycling/disposal. They have been doing door to door HHW collections, including Estate sale situations. They are searching for an investment partner and want to concentrate on creating a 100% post consumer paint product and bring the costs to recycle paint closer to the costs to solidify/landfill paint. They are also seeking to relocate their operations from NY to NJ. They do not deal with radioactive and medical wastes.


ANJHHWC is interested in looking into having a video produced on HHW and members seem interested in pursuing the idea. Costs could range from $5,000 to $20,000 and it was suggested to limit it to 15 minutes, and target 6th grade through adults. Perhaps supplement with activity guide/books/wheels. A sub committee will be working on this. Anyone interested in participating should call Carole Tolmachewich at (732) 745-4170.

Lunch: sponsored by Wade Environmental and the GCIA

Camden Co. Bomb Squad

Chris DiVirgilio from the Camden Co. Bomb Squad / Sheriff’s Office made a presentation regarding his experiences in working with explosives. Some common explosives are fireworks, chemistry sets, black or flash powder, ammunition, picric acid and ether. If you can prevent it, don’t move the material and instead have the Bomb Squad go to the location, it’s much safer. You can utilize NJ bomb squads from the following locations: Atlantic City, State Police, Bergen Co., Hudson Co., Newark, Morris Co., and Jersey City. These folks receive technicians level training by the Military and FBI and receive a formal refresher course every 3 years by the FBI. You can reach Chris by calling (856) 374-6235 or via e-mail at c4cmdv@aol.com.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 1:00 pm. and those interested went on to tour the PSE&G facility in Paulsboro with regards to computer reuse/recycling/demanufacturing.

Upon arrival at PSE&G, the DEP was there hand delivering PSE&G’s certificate to operate. The NJDEP is planning to add consumer electronics (CE) to the Universal Waste Rule, specifically Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT’s) and PSE&G has been a participant in the feasibility study to support that decision.

Our tour of the facility was conducted by Jim LeCates, IR Specialist with PSE&G, and you can reach him at the Gibbstown office at (609) 224-1639 or via e-mail at jlecat@pseg.com.

PSE&G’s 55,000 square foot warehouse holds all surplus materials generated within the company including computers and light bulbs.

The computer program started out as an in house program to fully utilize their own resources. When a computer entered the Recovery Center, it was sent back out to a PSE&G employee who could use it. The program has expanded to giving computers as donations or sold. PSE&G hires a contractor to test the computers which takes about 1.5 hours to complete. The computers slated for demanufacturing are sent out various contractors.

Bonus Minutes

Day two of the ANJHHWC conference found a few members touring the NJ State Aquarium. It was a very interesting ‘back stage’ tour, and here are a few facts to ponder.

The main tank at the Aquarium holds 760,000 gallons of Camden tap water with 80 tons of Morton Salt and 25 tons of other salts and minerals. It’s maybe third largest, after Epcot, Monterey, and possibly Baltimore. The water temp is between 63 and 68 degrees F. The ‘glass’ at the main viewing area of the tank was manufactured by Mitsubishi in 3 pieces which is 6 5/8 inches thick. It’s not glass at all, but plastic (like Lexan?) and only the water pressure is holding it in place.

Each year sharks kill about 5 people worldwide, but humans kill over 100,000 sharks. (who’s more dangerous?). The 2 types of sharks in the main tank are Sand Tiger and Sand Bar (sp?).

There are over 100 different tanks all together at the aquarium and each has it’s own filter system and lighting, and temperature control.

Ken Atkinson knew the question of the day – “What was the name of the robot shark in Jaws?” Come to the next ANJHHWC meeting to find out the answer.

1993-06-01 – A Day in the Life

by Larry Gindoff, Solid Waste Coordinator, Morris County, NJ, June 1993

As Morris County’s household hazardous waste (“HHW’) coordinator since 1987, I ran eight uneventful HHW disposal days prior to the one that occurred on a very hot Saturday in June of 1993. This disposal day, which taxed the ability of the workers and the patience of the residents, is the subject of this article. My description will illustrate several potential problems that must be considered when designing a safe and successful HHW program.

This day started like any other HHW disposal day. I arrived at the Morris County Road Department Garage at 6:15 a.m. and at 6:30 a.m. a caravan of trucks belonging to Wade Salvage of Atco, N.J., started rolling onto the site. By 6:45 a.m. the site was bristling with action.

It was cool, crisp morning but the crystal clear skies and the knot in my stomach made me realize it was going to be a scorcher. Although we stopped requiring pre-registration, I knew from the inquiries I had received that this was going to be Morris County’s busiest disposal day to date. My instincts were correct because at 7:00 a.m. the first resident arrived. I told her we were scheduled to open at 9:00a.m. but she insisted on waiting to “beat the crowd.” By 8:00 a.m. there were approximately 150 people like her there to beat the crowd.

The Road Department employees who were there only to setup the site worked feverishly to get all of the cars off Hanover Avenue, a busy County Road, and onto the garage site. Luckily we redesigned the queuing pattern from previous years to allow for approximately 75 cars to line up on-site. In the past the site was laid out for approximately 25 cars to queue on-site but due to predicted demand, we redesigned the layout but it was obviously not enough.

To accommodate the remaining 75 cars waiting for us to open, we established a second line on site much like the dreaded lines you encounter at a DMV inspection station. I knew people weren’t going to be happy when we started to run a program like the DMV and I was right. We opened just after 8:00 a.m. and the hazardous waste came pouring in.

Wade’s workers quickly got busy emptying out the trunks of the participants. Initially processing two cars simultaneously, then four then six. We were accepting waste at record rates. By no fault of Wade Salvage, the lines just got longer. One problem was, the site was so congested with cars lining up, and eventually with paint cans unloaded but not yet consolidated into drums, there was no room for cars with one or two items to pass cars that were no completely unloaded. This resulted in choke points, longer lines and angry people. 

Eventually the line could no longer be contained on-site and it spilled onto Hanover Avenue. The local police were immediately called to control traffic on this road. One line got longer until it reached a major intersection one quarter mile down the road. At this point the police closed the line and would not let any other cars on it.

To complicate matters, resourceful residents parked on a side street and walked their hazardous waste down to the collection point. Before I knew it, I had a procession of people lugging down multiple cans of paint, pesticides and chemicals to the processing area. Although, we quickly stopped these walk-ons, the damage was done. We had more angry participants and unknown material deposited.

At the worst, people had to wait an hour to get unloaded but by 11:00 a.m. we got into a good flow of unloading cars and the wait was down to 15 to 20 minutes By 1:00 p.m. there were no more cars lined up off-site. By 2:00 p.m. closing time there were just a few cars to process. We survived Morris County’s busiest HHW disposal day with just over 1,000 participants. The only thing left to do was to pack the vast amount of waste left unprocessed in piles. I knew there would be no more surprises. I relaxed for a moment and at 4:00 p.m. ate my first food for the day, a cold five hour old cheese steak sandwich.  It was getting late and I was eager to go home. I was ready to go into work Monday and explain why we had such long lines and how we were going to change it for the future. After all, many people in a rage screamed, “Who’s in charge here and where do I complain?”

It was 10:00 p.m. when the bad news came. The chief chemist alerted me to the fact that they had discovered a jar of crystallized picric acid which is very unstable and explosive. He suggested that for safety’s sake we notify the County’s emergency management unit and bomb squad; so I did.

Within five minutes a jeep with flashing lights arrived on-site from the local fire department asking what was going on. The chemist explained the situation to him and he communicated over the radio with other officials. All I was thinking was that I wished this guy would shut off his flashing lights so as not to draw any additional bad publicity to my HHW program.

Before I realized what happened, this firefighter took control of the situation and ordered the evacuation of the site bringing all work to a halt. Eleven homes within a quarter mile of the garage were evacuated. If this wasn’t bad enough, it was decided to close Hanover Avenue for a quarter mile on each side of the garage. While the emergency personnel decided what to do with the bottle of picric acid the size of a small jar of spaghetti sauce, more and more equipment and personnel arrived on the scene. Soon to come were several ambulances, several fire trucks, the Mayor of the Township, the County Administrator, a County Freeholder and scores of emergency personnel including volunteer firefighters and paramedics.

At 4:00 a.m., after several hours of preparation, the bomb squad signaled everyone by blowing a horn that it was about to detonate the picric acid. A big bang ensued, no one was hurt and the episode seemed over. The emergency personnel packed up their equipment, and left the scene. There was still the work of loading all the filled drums onto the trucks before the job was done. Wade reassembled its work force and went back to work.

By 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning all the drums were loaded, counted, manifested and the caravan started to leave the sight. At 6:15 a.m., exactly 24 hours after I had first arrived, I started my car and drove home. This was like no other HHW disposal day.

I have told you this story of a day in the life of HHW management so both the HHW coordinator and disposal company can learn from my experience. Following that June 1993 program, the County relocated its HHW disposal days to the parking lot of its Fire and Police Training Academy. This site had much more room to operate and was utilized for two disposal days in the Fall of 1993. Both disposal days operated like all the other disposal days I had conducted except that one big event on that hot June day.


Name: Daniel Capelle
Affliation: Onyx Environmental Services
EMail: dcapelle@onyxes.com
Date: 1/13/00

Onyx Environmental Service (OES), with offices located throughout the East Coast and centered in Flanders, NJ most likely could have handled the picric acid management as safely and with less cost and less down-time for Morris County. Along with conducting several HHW events annually, OES has a highly-trained and well-equipped Reactives Chemical Group (RCG). The RCG utilizes a specially designed Remote Opener, BATF- issue Fragmentation Gear (ppe) and other equipment on a weekly basis for just this sort of material managment. An appropriate solvent (in this case water) is added to the container once opened. The material is then available for standard handling, transportation and disposal as a hazard class 4.1 (Flammable Solid) material. Detonation as a management technique can cause a lot of headaches and usually is not the best option. Sorry for the Company pitch…I couldn’t resist…I coodrinate the RCG of the Midwest. As a side note, I too have worked several long hours on HHW events; however, your 24-hour tale has me beat…my longest to date is a 20-hour day.

Name: Greg Boe
Affliation: Scott County (MN) Environmental Health
EMail: gboe@co.scott.mn.us
Date: 8/5/99

I feel your pain!! We too had one collection day worse than all the rest, with nearly 1000 cars. Our saving grace was that our collection was held at a County Highway Garage out in the country, so the line of cars spilled out onto a 2-lane country highway rather than a busy city street. It gets to be a long day…my back and feet hurt for days!!! We got a few angry calls on Monday, but it actually worked to our advantage, as it clearly showed our citizens the need for a permanent HHW Facility open multiple times per month rather than the one-day collections and ever-increasing lines of cars!! GOOD LUCK!!!!