Press-Republican

May 13, 2013

Essex County to take hazardous wastes free

BY LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Despite a high cost, Essex County lawmakers say they’re committed to offering a free hazardous-waste collection day for residents this summer.

“Mostly it’s used paint, fluorescent lights, those type of things,” County Department of Public Works Superintendent Anthony LaVigne told the County Board of Supervisors.

The cleanup event won’t accept medical waste or automotive batteries this time, he said.

North Elba Transfer Station/Recycling Coordinator Shannon Porter told supervisors their town cleanup days have been very successful.

“The majority of stuff we get are paint, oils, gas and antifreeze. There are paint thinners, pesticides, herbicides; there is a whole list of things.”

When it gets closer to the date, the county will post on its website a list of items that will be accepted.

AIMING FOR AUGUST

LaVigne said he hopes to hold Essex County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day at the North Elba and North Hudson transfer stations all day on Saturday, Aug. 10.

“It will be based on staff (availability), so we may also have to have one of the sites on Aug. 10 and the other on Aug. 17,” he said.

“I’m currently trying to get a permit for the North Hudson transfer station. I believe it meets the permit requirements.”

STATE CHIPS IN

Although the cost is estimated at $60,000, the State Department of Environmental Conservation will reimburse the county half of that, County Manager Daniel Palmer said.

“This is $40,000 from the contingency (account), with $20,000 budgeted. (It) leaves us $60,000, and then we’ll eventually get a 50 percent reimbursement from the state, so we will get $30,000 back.”

‘GOOD INVESTMENT’

The county hasn’t held a Hazardous Waste Disposal Day for four years, and it’s much needed, Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said.

“I do think if we don’t do this, it’s going to end up on the side of the road or wherever, so I think it’s a good thing to do. I know it’s trying financial times, but I think it’s a good investment.”

“There is a need,” Supervisor Margaret Bartley (D-Elizabethtown) said. “People are opening up their camps, doing spring cleaning.”

They get a lot of old paint turned in, Porter said.

“Paint is a huge issue. It’s not so much the latex paint — the latex paints, people don’t realize, if you open up the lid and let it harden, it’s no longer hazardous, and then it can be thrown out.”

But if latex paint is in liquid form, then it is hazardous, she said, and should be properly disposed of.

LaVigne said he’ll be expecting a heavy turnout at both sites.

“There is no charge — the whole idea here is to entice people to bring their household hazardous waste and to properly dispose of it.”

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com