Tag Archives: Difficulties

2010-09-29 – ANJHHWC Meeting Minutes

Call to Order – President Ron Berenato opened the meeting at 10:20 a.m. by welcoming all to the Middlesex County Fire Academy and thanking Chris Sikorski for coordinating this meeting location and food for the meeting.

Approval of May 25, 2010 ANJHHWC Minutes– Mr. Berenato stated that the minutes from the previous meeting held at the baseball stadium in Trenton were prepared by Larry Gindoff and posted on the ANJHHWC’s website (www.NJHazWaste.com).   Mr. Berenato then asked for a motion to approve the minutes.  A motion was made and seconded and approved by all present voting members.  Mr. Gindoff then provided a brief overview of the ANJHHWC website and how he transitioned it and copied the old material from the original site that had been running since the mid-90s to the newly formatted website.

Selection of Financial Committee to Review Records – Due to the ANJHHWC’s non-profit status, it is required that a financial committee be appointed to review the association’s financial records. Members of the committee cannot be current or recent board members.  A motion was made to establish the committee and this motion was seconded.  All members then voted in favor of its establishment with the exception of the ANJHHWC Treasurer, Chris Sikorski, who abstained.  Mark Vangieri of Bergen County suggested that an auditing firm, like the one used by ANJR, can be used, and he believes the cost is not too high, if the ANJHHWC want to proceed in that manner.  Tom Burbridge, Morris County and Melissa Harvey, Somerset County both volunteered to sit on this financial committee and to meet with Chris Sikorski prior to the December meeting to review the ANJHHWC’s financial records.

Treasurer’s Report – ANJHHWC Treasurer, Chris Sikorski provided a report on the ANJHHWC’s finances.  He stated the balance in the Association’s bank account is $10,255.21 and that NewTech Recycling joined as the most recent commercial member.  Chris then provided a run-down on the RBRC battery grant and spending associated with it.  The ANJHHWC spending on the grant is complete as it has spent a total of $18,000 on promoting the “If It’s Rechargeable It’s Recyclable” campaign.  $15,000 came from the RBRC grant, $1,000 came from Covanta Energy, $1,000 came from the Merk grant and $1,000 was matched and provided by the ANJWWHC.  A motion was made to accept the treasurer’s report and it was seconded and approved by all.

Electronics Recycling Act and Disposal Ban Starting In 2011– Discussion ensued regarding how the counties are beginning to transition to operating their electronics recycling programs in consideration of the new Electronics Recycling Act (“Act”).  Most counties reported that they have been contacted by a variety of representatives (electronic recyclers/demanufacturers) of manufacturers that have proposed, in one way or another, to take over and pay for individual county programs as their way to meet their obligations of the Act.  While most counties are in the middle of existing demanufacturing contracts, and therefore are not in a position to act on any of these proposals, a couple of counties have already been able to figure out how to take advantage of these proposals and have entered into contracts to have their programs operated by firms as part of the Act.  Guy Watson of the NJDEP requested that people send him copies of proposals they receive if they involve facilities in NJ so that the NJDEP could assess their approval status to operate in NJ.  Mr. Watson admitted the NJDEP needs a much better way to regulate and approve New Jersey’s class “D” recycling facilities than what is current going on.

Several counties at this point still were trying to figure out how to react to what are in essence unsolicited proposals from the manufacturers’ representatives. Guy Watson reiterated that it is the manufacturers’ obligation to get these programs paid for and up and running and not necessarily the obligation of the individual counties.  Mr. Watson stated that his Department will send a letter to all municipalities educating them about the Act and its implementation prior to January 2011.

A question came up about knowing which manufacturers these demanufactures represent and the members were informed that many of the demanufacturers have non-disclosure agreements with their clients and therefore cannot disclose who they represent.

Summary of County Programs

  • Burlington – They run permanent facility and satellite facility and no one-day events.  Latex paint is getting to expensive to haul for them.  It was suggested to look into using it as a landfill cover application in something called “Posi-Shell” which you can spray onto a landfill face to supplement daily cover operations.  ACUA reported they send their latex paint to Covanta for energy recovery but many counties are still in a dry-it-out and throw-it out mode with respect to latex paint.
  • Salem – They have a problem with their current HHW contractor for not provided a forklift at their programs which is needed to unload farmer’s waste delivered on flatbed trucks.  Salem also distributed magnets they sent out as a postcard mailer and discussed problems with the plastic coating used to keep the magnet attached to the postcard.
  • Sussex – Running 6 events for the year and they report they are currently withholding some payment to their HHW contractor while waiting for the return of executed manifests.
  • Somerset – They are about to conduct the last of 6 events for the year and plan on conducting the same number in 2011.
  • Morris County – in 2010 cut events from 5 to 4 and this did not seem to be an issue.  Participation is down a little in 2010 compared to previous years.  Not as many people moving seems to have impacted participation and people are getting into better habits of only buying only what they need.  Morris County will probably conduct 4 days again in 2011 while continuing to run its permanent facility as it has in the past.
  • Gloucester – They conduct 8 programs this year and they also see participation going down a bit.  They have recently stopped accepting latex paint and that has cut their cost dramatically. Gloucester anticipates cutting the number of programs in the future due to decreasing participation and as a way to save money.
  • Camden – They have conducted 6 programs a year and anticipate keeping that frequency for the near future. Their participation continues to increase.  They anticipate stopping the accepting latex in the future.
  • Mercer – They conduct 3 HHW days and 2 electronic recycling days and anticipate keeping this schedule for 2011.
  • Union – They anticipate keeping the same basic schedule in 2011 as they had in 2010.
  • Middlesex – They conduct 7 one-day events a year and their participation is waning a bit.  They continue to operate their latex drop-off program
  • Monmouth – Permanent facility continues to increase in participation; claims many people are cleaning out their homes in preparation to leave the state permanently.  They continue to conduct 2 one-day events in addition to operating their permanent facility.
  • Bergen – They conduct 8 one-day events a year and plan on doing the same in 2011.  They accept latex paint at their events and participation is about the same as the past.
  • Passaic – They conduct 3 one-day programs a year and will do so in 2011.  They also accept latex paint as apart of their programs.
  • Atlantic – Conduct 7 one-day programs a year.

Medicine Take-Back Programs – Discussion about promoting medicine take-back programs followed.  It was suggested that the ANJHHWC may want to create and distribute public service announcements promoting these programs similar to what it did with respect to battery management.

Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:30.

Executive Board Meeting – The executive board conducted one if its required quarterly meetings between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon following the adjournment of the regular meeting.  Discussions included scheduling the December 2010 meeting and preparing an updated membership form for 2011 membership.



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.

1998-10-29 – “Trick or Treat?” HHW Days From The Contractor’s Point of View

Presented at the October 29, 1998 ANJHHWC Meeting by
Brett D. Robinson, CHMM
Vice President and General Manager of REMTECH Group.
© 1998, Brett Robinson/ REMTECH Group

It’s very fitting, I think, that we should be getting together at this time of season–some of us in costume, it appears–to discuss HHW Days because every collection carries with it some “Tricks” and some “Treats.”

You open that homeowner’s trunk and you may get just about anything–and you’d better come dressed for the occasion, just in case your safety might be at stake!

We’ve seen…

  • Cars full of kids and pets carrying open containers of flammable liquids.
  • One homeowner I remember even filled both sides of the back seat, leaving his infant strapped into its car seat “for safety.”

We’ve seen…

  • Empty whipped cream aerosol cans treated as if they were the cause of rain forest destruction while deadly poisons weren’t given a second glance.
  • Two weekends ago two older gentlemen delivered a carload of fertilizers and pesticides including a trash can full of cyanide. They wanted us to dump out the 60 pounds of cyanide so they could have their trash can back. They didn’t get it back.

We’ve seen…

  • A lady from an urban area in North Jersey deliver a box full of old knives. When we questioned her about it. She said she felt they were too dangerous to put out in the trash, fearing that neighborhood kids might find them and prove how hazardous they could be.

We’ve seen…

  • Tear gas grenades, explosive flares, 40-year-old poison gases from some exterminator’s ancient bag of tricks, leaking open bags of asbestos, explosive flash powder from a turn-of-the-century photography studio, 50 pound bags of DDT, unstable compounds from the local high school chemistry lab, broken kerosene heaters, prehistoric veterinary medicines, and just about every kind of home product imaginable, hazardous or not.

As I’m sure everyone here can confirm, there are actually two “Trick or Treat” seasons when it comes to HHWs: every spring and every fall.

So what would you like to discuss today?

Rather than talk at you, I’d rather talk with you about how to make the HHW events we all face more predictable, more safe, and more responsive to the needs of the homeowners.

How about predictability?

Just like the investment advertising warnings that “past performance is no guarantee of future gains,” every waste collection seems to be a crap shoot these days. Our Spring collection days were phenomenal. Our Fall days have been very disappointing overall.

I’m sure we’d all like to get a better handle on just how long these things should run, how much waste is coming in, and how much this could cost the local taxpayers.

 We’ve seen the following hits and misses, or rather, “Treats” and “Tricks”…

TREAT: Pre-register as many people as possible and give the homeowner a time slot to deliver his waste.

Though far from guaranteed, this approach helps the contractor to better plan his supplies and manpower. It also reduces lines.

 TRICK: Don’t limit drop-offs to only those who have pre-registered.

Once the contractor is there, he wants to get the most from his efforts. And, of course, turning away unregistered cars upsets the homeowners.

TREAT: Try to separate the small businesses from the homeowners.

Every HHW Day we do in Orange County New York is a two-day affair. Saturday is restricted to homeowners. But Friday the Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) bring in their waste (mostly pre-registered for planning purposes and to advise them of the charges). Each SQG’s waste load is tallied up and the SQG receives a bill from the county for the service. And even though they pay, the SQGs are happy to get proper disposal services for much less than the could get on their own.

I believe that this approach recognizes the hardship that waste disposal requirements place on smaller businesses and fosters a more honest response than general open collection days. “You’re driving a painting contractor van. Are you sure this waste paint isn’t from your business?”

 TRICK: Limiting homeowners to a certain gallonage or weight.

If you’re trying to keep small businesses out, try a more positive approach, like an SQG day. Homeowners really do have four car batteries under the porch, bags of old pesticides in the shed (likely bought on sale just before they were outlawed!), and 55 gallon drums in their garages.

After I told him not to pour his waste oil down the dry well in his back yard, my late father-in-law decided to make it easy on himself and put it all in a 55-gallon drum, knowing full well he would never live to have to empty it! I filled every gallon milk and detergent jug I could get my hands on so that I could empty the thing for delivery to the local waste day.

TREAT: Locate the collection near the source of the waste with good traffic access.

Our most successful days are those, such as in Sussex County, located near the local landfill where everyone is going on Saturday anyway or near a major highway, such as in Passaic County, where a drop off is convenient. Our worst day occurred 20 minutes from the closest town in a state park.

 TRICK: Don’t plan the waste day in a vacuum. Check area event calendars before setting the waste day.

We recently had a terrible turnout at a mid-Pennsylvania due in no small part to the fact that the day of our event also happened to be the day of a huge local air show and Ladies PGA golf tournament. Since it was well known that many local roadways between our site and the largest nearby city became impassable owing to the traffic associated with these events, I’m sure that many potential “customers” just stayed home.

How about promoting safety and environmental protection?

TREAT: Caution homeowners that an HHW collection is not a good choice for a family outing.

Even if there are no problems with their waste, what about the general frenzy of activity and traffic associated with this work?

 TRICK: Homeowners are not directed to stay in their cars unless needed to identify something or open the trunk.

Thus, homeowners risk injury from traffic, workers with cartloads of waste, and back strains.

I, the contractor, need to control the delivery of wastes to my workers. Homeowners carrying their spilling containers of gasoline and dripping pesticides over to the sorting tables compromise everyone’s safety.

TREAT: Caution homeowners to, if possible, carry the wastes in the truck rather than on the floor or seats in the passenger section.

Many times wastes spill on the way to the event. This can ruin upholstery and carpets. Worse, the fumes could impair the driver or create a fire hazard if someone is smoking in the car.

 TRICK: Homeowners are not told to extinguish cigarettes in the work area.

Again, if someone gets out of their car and walks to a sorting table while smoking, we’re all at risk.

TREAT: Hold the collection in an open paved parking lot away from storm sewers.

If it’s raining, you don’t want drippage–and there is bound to be some–getting off the site. I don’t know why gravel sites are chosen for some of these collections.

 TRICK: Not holding the contractor to a basic level of personal protective equipment.

I’ve observed waste days–not that we have held, of course–where workers unloaded cars and sorted wastes in shorts, short sleeves, and no safety glasses. Requiring OSHA 40 hour training for contractor workers is a good approach but the county rep, then, must enforce at least minimum standard of protection. If the workers don’t care about themselves, what makes you think they care about anyone else’s safety? By the same token, if the county reps want to wander about the work area–which I don’t think is really necessary–they need safety equipment, too.

How about keeping costs in line?

Which is the best approach? Per car pricing? Per pound pricing? Per container pricing? Per waste/container pricing? Something else?

Each approach has its pluses and minuses.

Per car pricing works well until a local business tries to pawn off its waste–by the van load typically–as household waste. In such circumstances or when a legitimate homeowner just has a huge amount of waste, usually compromises are worked out “on the fly,” counting a van as so many cars. Some clients require a running total of money spent to make sure that funding isn’t exceeded. If this is a concern, per car tallies are the quickest way to stay on top this.

Per pound pricing, where every single container is weighed, takes a lot of time. On the other hand, if the disposal truck is weighed empty and then weighed loaded and the average container weights deducted, the per pound system is more manageable for everyone.

Per container pricing is tricky. Prior to handling the collection days ourselves, REMTECH received HHW materials from other contractors. We could always tell those events where the contractor was paid by the container: Many drums must have slipped by the coordinator because they were woefully under-filled.

Segregating chemicals into their proper US DOT shipping categories and charging according to the waste/container combination is how it’s done everyday for routine lab pack work at industrial sites and school chemistry labs. It’s probably the most fair way overall to calculate disposal costs but its also the least predictable.

Bottom line…we can bid any way the event is to be held but the simpler the method (such as net pounds or per car) the easier the process of invoicing is and the easier the process of tracking costs that day may be.

Other Good Ideas

Here are some ideas for keeping costs–and headaches–in line:

  • Hire a contractor who has their own facility to (1) reduce “middleman” charges and (2) ensure a permit-enforceable paper trail to confirm that proper disposal/recycling occurs.
  • If possible, observe the contractor’s work at another waste day and/or audit the contractor’s facility to confirm that the low bidder is actually the lowest qualified bidder.
  • Separate uncontaminated boxes/cardboard from other event waste and send it to a recycler to boost the local recycling tonnage report and reduce disposal costs.

We’ve had some HHW Days where volunteers break up all the boxes to ensure the best fit and to free us up to concentrate on moving HHW wastes.

  • Alert local emergency response personnel about the event ahead of time to allow them to prepare for contingencies, rather than hiring a haz mat team to sit and watch the proceedings.

If the county would feel safer having some safety oversight during the day, then arrange to have the local publicly-funded haz mat team there. They could always use the exposure. However, paying another subcontractor to sit and wait for a haz mat emergency when you’ve hired an experienced contractor to do the work is unnecessary–not to mention the fact that it makes our hardworking guys jealous of the other contractor who sits around eating donuts and collecting the same pay for seemingly doing nothing. Did I mention that we’d love to be your standby safety team?

Seek grants and assistance from every conceivable source to offset costs and effort.

Aside from state grants, funding can come from local businesses who get some advertising as well as the opportunity to get rid of their SQG wastes at a reduced rate compared to individual service. Some bid proposals we’ve participated in require the contractor to place ads or prepare flyers. We get resumes all the time from recent college graduates who lack waste management/environmental protection/safety experience. Perhaps there is a local college who would love to have the county sponsor internships to help set up and/or run the programs.

Allow unopened consumer goods to be “recycled” on site to event participants.

This allows the truest form of recycling to occur. However, room for traffic from homeowners stopping to “take a look” must be planned for. Also, someone must manage this table to make sure that no spillage occurs.

We also invariably have several homeowners bring in something non-chemical in nature (e.g., small appliances) that they would like to see used again. These people should be directed to take such items to the local Goodwill or Purple Heart collection centers.

Arrange with a local community service organization to collect good latex paints for use in housing renewal programs or public area restorations.

Many events seek to exclude latex paints raising the ire of homeowners who don’t know what else to do with them.

Demand that hazardous waste manifests or other shipping papers document all wastes removed and that original Certificates of Disposal tied to those shipping papers document delivery to a licensed facility before paying the final bill.

REMTECH was not paid for several loads of HHW wastes brought to it by an outside contractor. After a considerable period of seeking payment we contacted the counties directly. We discovered that the unscrupulous contractor had used photocopies of the same check to us to prove to several counties that the disposal bill had been paid. Each copy presented to the county had different manifest numbers typed in according to the county it was trying to convince. The counties paid the fraudulent contractor and refused to assist REMTECH. We are suing over the incident.

Educate the homeowner better about what is potentially dangerous to avoid paying for obviously “safe” trash.

The example I gave at the start of my talk of people dropping off empty whipped cream cans happens regularly. We’ve gotten empty shampoo bottles, dry/empty paint cans, asphalt roofing shingles, electrical devices such as house fans and hair dryers, you name it. I’d say we’ve seen everything but the kitchen sink–but one of those came during a Hudson County waste day.

It’s clear to me that ANJHHWC members are sincerely interested in making HHW Days run without headaches, without safety problems, and with a great turnout. So are we.

Thanks for the opportunity to work with you in this endeavor.

1996-10-01 – Nor’ Easter Can’t Stop Passaic County Hazardous Waste Event

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:

Item 10/14/95 10/19/96 % Increase
Bulk HHW 24,522 lbs. 34,180 lbs. 39%
Car Batteries 82 125 52%
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.

1996-08-01 – The Tempest that is “Household Hazardous Waste Day”

By Larry Gindoff, Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, August 1996.
Art work by Jerry Garcia

Like a hurricane, the foundations of household hazardous waste days are rooted in seemingly peaceful beginnings. Eventually, all the planning, bidding and promoting materialize into a squall that crashes upon the shore with great vengeance. It is this type of storm, with all of its uncertainties, that I am referring to as household hazardous waste disposal day.

Early in the morning, these days have a real serene feel to them. Early birds wait patiently in cars reading the news of the day while workers eat breakfast and prepare the site. Breakfast is a time that you can sip a cup of coffee and reflect on the day ahead. It’s a peaceful time, the calm before the storm, a Maxwell House moment.

Then the clouds roll in. The thunder of the early birds’ engines fill the air as the doors of HHW day officially open. It then starts to pour, and I’m not talking cool, quenching rain here. I’m talking about a flood of paints, pesticides, oil, antifreeze, asbestos, and a myriad of other chemicals that would even overwhelm Madame Curie.

The hazardous waste workers seem to handle the deluge with great persistence. Like the old man of the sea, they have weathered this storm many times before.

In the same way that waves crash upon the beach during a storm, most cars come and go without incident. They deposit materials they have carried with them and head back out to sea, maybe to come back another day.

While working through this torrent can become routine at times, everyone realizes that lightning in a bottle may only be one car away. The next wave that hits may be the one that breaks the dikes.

Careful preparation and experience enable us to weather the storm, but it is not without a sacrifice. A great deal of effort goes into cleaning up the mess left by the storm.

Eventually, the sun peeks above the horizon as the doors to HHW day close. A wave or two may still roll in but everyone realizes that sunny skies are on the way.

The sun bursts through the clouds as manifests are signed and trucks high-tail it out of town. It is such a wonderful feeling that I often see rainbows caused by the sunlight reflecting off of my tears of joy. It isn’t a sense of accomplishment as much as a feeling of relief. It’s too bad that another tempest is brewing just over the horizon.