Hazardous waste day set for Saturday

Ken Kellar

If you’ve been holding onto your old batteries and almost empty paint cans, this weekend will be your opportunity to dispose of them in a safe way.
The Town of Fort Frances will be holding its annual Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste day this Saturday, September 12 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Public Works yard on 900 Wright Ave. Members of the public are encouraged to bring their various hazardous wastes to be disposed of properly.
Town of Fort Frances Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob said that he has been working with the contractors in order to make sure the event runs as smoothly as possible with the COVID safety precautions in place.
“I’ve been working again with our contractor, which is Miller Environmental, to look at how we want to handle our hazardous waste day,” Rob explained.
“I’ve gone to them, what do you have in place for policies, what are your health and safety people going to be looking for and we’re just working together to kind of set that out. The good part about how we do hazardous waste day, everything happens for hazardous waste day outside, other than the sorting of materials and packaging it which is taken care of by the Miller crew inside the Public Works building.”
With a crew set up inside the building, and more town employees outside, Rob said that the focus will be on safety for all involved. The town will be setting up fans in order to keep air circulating through the building, and employees will be wearing all of the standard personal protective equipment as well.
“We’re going to be asking that the public, of course, stay outside,” he said.
“Staff are going to be wearing the regular PPE which includes vest, safety shoes, safety glasses, gloves. In addition to that they’re going to be wearing masks just for that little bit extra added protection, which is the norm now. And that’s about it. The day itself, the event is going to run very much the same as it has in years past with just kind of basic added safety precautions.”
Rob said that for the day of the event itself, the public will be encouraged to line up down Fifth St. and proceed to the Public Works building, where they will be met by the town employees.
“We’ll have two of the large overhead doors open and we’ll have tables out front of those two doors,” he explained.
“So the vehicles come up in a line, every year they set it up a little bit different but the first table will take certain waste, so you get out of your car and you’ll put your paint there or your oil there or whatever, usually the first table is paint and oil, then the second table is everything else. And then the Miller staff are working and they are clearing the tables and they are taking that waste, determining what it is, putting like wastes together in the proper containers for safe transportation and handling the paperwork side of things.”
After so many years of working with Miller Environmental and holding the waste days, Rob said the whole experience has been refined through experience.
“I like to think we’re pretty efficient at it,” he said.