Hazardous waste day slated for Saturday

Volunteers will be ready to unload hazardous waste products this Saturday (May 6) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Public Works building in Fort Frances (corner of Fifth Street West and Wright Avenue) as part of the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day.
The event, which provides an opportunity to clear potentially-dangerous waste out of homes, is sponsored as a collaboration of Rainy River First Nations and community sponsors.
“People have items like cans of paint and aerosol cans stockpiled in their sheds,” noted Kiley Hanson, assistant co-ordinator of the watershed program. “This gives them a way to dispose of them safely.”
Hanson stressed hazardous items should not be thrown in the garbage like regular trash.
“It’s not good for them to go to the landfill because some take years to break down and they also contaminate,” she noted.
Clean Harbors, an environmental service from Winnipeg, will be on hand here Saturday to help deal with the harmful products.
“They will be recycled or sent down to southern Ontario to be properly reused or disposed of,” Hanson noted.
She said they have received nothing but positive response about the program in the past.
“Many people are conscious about what happens if these products reach the dump,” she remarked. “They care about the environment and are happy to have this program to get rid of their waste.”
Hanson noted there’s not much that can be done with hazardous items throughout the year.
“Just keep it until we have another Household Hazardous Waste Day [in May],” she advised. “We’ve had suggestions to do it a couple of times a year, but it poses challenges.”
Besides requiring a separate building in order to accept waste regularly, she noted it also is quite costly.
“We’ve had the most success in Fort Frances,” she said, adding they held a similar event in Rainy River one year and there wasn’t much turnout.
“People come to Fort Frances to bring waste,” she reasoned. “And we want to hold the event in the best area to collect the most waste—Fort Frances has the largest population around.”
Volunteers also will be conducting a survey Saturday to determine where in the district people are coming from to bring in their hazardous items. They also will accept comments or suggestions.
“[They will also] be there to unload your load for you,” said Hanson. “You don’t have to do anything but show up.”
The Household Hazardous Waste Day received donations and support from the Town of Fort Frances as well as from the Townships of Chapple, Emo, and La Vallee.
More than 12,000 kg of hazardous products were collected last year and nearly 17,000 kg in 2004, and Hanson said they hope to get even more this year.
Items such as batteries, drain and oven cleaners, pesticides, rat poison, pool chemicals, bleach, ammonia, aerosols, paints, solvents, oil, gasoline, and more will be accepted.
The waste should be separated and labelled.
For more information, contact Adam Scott at 482-2479.