Waste day numbers hold steady

With some district residents marking it on their calendars each year now, the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day continues to be a successful means of letting them dispose of materials they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get rid of at the landfill.
Adam Scott, co-ordinator of the Rainy River Watershed Program, said Monday the event, which was held Saturday at the Public Works yard on Fifth Street West here, saw only slightly lower numbers than in 2006.
“I think we ended up at 260-270 carloads. We’ll have the final report here in a month or so,” he noted. “It’s a little bit less [than last year] but nothing disturbingly low.”
Waste day saw around 300 carloads last May.
“As with these types of events, there’s an ebb and a flow. Some years are higher, some years are lower,” Scott remarked.
“But now that is known as an annual event, we don’t see very low numbers,” he added. “I’d be very surprised if we ever got under 250 vehicles now.
“People do know about it. What we are seeing is rather than people coming with truckloads, they’re coming with two or three cans of paint.
“When we started, people had all this stuff stockpiled,” Scott explained. “But as we get into year five, six, seven, and on down the line, we just get stuff people have collected over the year.
“And then there are some people that stockpile it for two or three years, and that’s when we get a big year.”
Scott said the mild weather, while windy, certainly didn’t hinder Saturday’s turnout.
“Those kind of days are actually really nice because a lot of people don’t go anywhere,” he noted. “They hang around and do yardwork, and with the free tipping day at the landfill, it encourages people to spend Saturday morning cleaning up and bringing it all down.
“It was fairly steady. There was a few lulls, like at lunchtime. And then there was times when were five or six cars deep,” continued Scott. “It was pretty steady.
“It has to be to get that many cars through in a six-hour time slot.”
While the event is meant for the whole district, the lion’s share of users—90 percent or higher—usually are from Fort Frances and this year was no different, said Scott.
He noted the most common items turned in were paints, batteries, and oil, and that no “out-of-the-ordinary” materials were brought in.
Waste disposal contractor Clean Harbors will prepare a full report of what materials, and how much of them, were turned in by district residents at this year’s Household Hazardous Waste Day in coming weeks.
Started by the watershed program back in 2001, Household Hazardous Waste Day is designed to facilitate the safe disposal of reactive, flammable, corrosive, poisonous, and other potentially-dangerous materials found in the households across Rainy River District.
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 day also is made possible through the participation of volunteers from groups such as the watershed program and the local RBC, who worked alongside the Clean Harbors staff on site for waste day.