Hazardous waste day slated Saturday

Time to clean out the garage!
District residents will be able to properly dispose of old paint, oil, and other materials they’ve been storing up since last May when the fifth-annual Household Hazardous Waste Day get underway here Saturday.
The event is slated from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Public Works yard located on Fifth Street West at Wright Avenue, and organizers are hoping for yet another positive turnout.
“The reason we have it is simply because the stuff we’re collecting can’t be put in the normal waste stream—either recycling, composting, or into the landfill—so we’re providing people an opportunity to get rid of it for free,” said Rainy River Watershed Program co-ordinator Adam Scott.
Household Hazardous Waste Day has been run by the Rainy River Watershed Program since its inception.
“It will be taken by the contractors out of Winnipeg—CleanHarbors—to their facilities, where it will be treated and disposed of in a proper manner,” Scott added.
“So it’s not ending up buried in somebody’s backyard or tossed in a ditch and contaminating soil, groundwater, and all sorts of things.”
Scott said the event “went very well” last year, and since 2004 seems to have plateaued in its usage as a certain number of people wait for it each May.
“In conversations I’ve had with [Operations and Facilities manager] Doug Brown, throughout the course of the year people are always asking him when it’s coming.
“They’re asking me throughout the year, too,” he added.
“It’s pretty much a well-oiled machine at this point,” continued Scott. “People are anticipating it and stockpiling their nasty stuff to get rid of it and that’s a good thing.”
Scott clarified that while the event is held in Fort Frances (due to the fact it’s the most populated area and sees the most material turned in), Household Hazardous Waste Day is meant for all district residents and everyone is welcome to bring in materials.
He did stress, however, that commercial-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted.
The annual event is financially supported by several district municipalities, though with the majority of the funding coming from the Town of Fort Frances.
Waste products district residents can turn in Saturday include batteries, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, pesticides, rat poison, pharmaceuticals, cleaning fluids, pool chemicals, bleach, ammonia, aerosols, paints/solvents, oils/gasoline, barbecue starter fluid, and propane cylinders.
Scott noted the most common materials are old batteries, oil, and paint, but everything from aerosol cans to fertilizer has been turned in before.
Waste products should be separated and labelled if it’s not obvious what they are, he added.
PCBs, commercial, infectious, radioactive, or unknown wastes also won’t be accepted.
< *c>Free tipping
In related news, the Household Hazardous Waste Day once again will coincide with free tipping for yard and garden waste at the Fort Frances landfill, which will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.
The waiving of tipping fees applies strictly to leaves, tree branches, grass clippings, and garden waste.
These items must be separate from regular waste when brought to the landfill.
Last year, 275 vehicles disposed of 58.79 tonnes of organic matter at the landfill.