The GLOW Region's 14th household hazardous waste collection event, which was held in May, was successful in getting tons of stuff disposed of properly -- that's healthy and good for the environment.
In addition to the array of household chemicals, cleaning products, vehicle batteries, tires and electronics that have been collected in the past, pharmaceuticals (outdated, unwanted and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs), were accepted for the first time.
The event is overseen by the GLOW Region's Solid Waste Management Committee.
AAA of Western and Central NY was on hand to check residents' vehicles for mercury trunk and hood light switches and replaced them with mercury-free switches as necessary.
The system of appointments was continued. This system allows GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) to control costs and get residents through the unloading process in as little as 15 minutes.
Because disposal costs have been stable over the past few years, 505 appointments were scheduled -- a record number -- and 470 people attended.
The following are some statistics provided by Peggy Grayson, recycling administrator.
One hundred and ninety four people brought pharmaceuticals, including 168 lbs. of solids (pills, etc.), seven gallons of liquids and 104 lbs. of packaging.
Examples of other materials collected were:
- 1,852 lbs. of resins and adhesives
- 2,229 lbs. of pesticides
- 10,604 lbs. of paint
- 341 TVs
- 258 monitors
- 238 computers
- 233 tires
- and 92 vehicle batteries
GLOW uses licensed, permitted vendors and obtains permits from the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the NYS Dept. of Health for these events.
The pharmaceutical portion of the collection required that police be on site to take possession of the drugs, secure them and deliver them to Covanta Niagara in Niagara Falls for incineration. This service was generously provided by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department.
Many of the other items collected get recycled. Others are incinerated or go to a hazardous waste landfill.
These collections offer residents an environmentally sound way to dispose of materials that have the potential to pollute the environment and harm human health.
Regarding the collection of pharmaceuticals Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha stated: “This is a vital program that assists law enforcement in keeping prescription drugs off the street. Without such a program, these prescription drugs may have ended up in our schools, communities or environment.”
Total costs for the program are estimated to be slightly more than $27,000. Funding comes from GLOW’s county contributions and a NYS Household Hazardous Waste Assistance Grant.
Additional assistance was provided by the Genesee County Highway Department, Ed Arnold Recycling and a host of dedicated volunteers.
The next collection is tentatively scheduled for September of 2011.
Residents wishing to be notified by mail when appointments are being accepted for that collection, can contact the GLOW office at (585) 344-2580, ext. 5463, or at 1-800-836-1154 or via e-mail at: <[email protected]> or <[email protected].>.