Town to support ‘waste day’ again

It looks like district residents once again will get a chance to properly dispose of old paint, oil, and other such materials this spring as council agreed Monday night to host another Household Hazardous Waste Day.
In a report to council, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown recommended the town sponsor the event, which is co-ordinated by the Rainy River Watershed Program, as it has for the past two years.
His rationale to back the event, which is slated for Saturday May, 8 at the Public Works yard on Fifth Street West, was based on the following factors:
•household hazardous waste could be disposed in an environmentally-acceptable manner thanks to such an opportunity;
•the “waste day” could reduce the potential of such waste being deposited at the municipal landfill;
•it aids in protecting the watershed;
•the public has been directed in the past that this is an annual event, and they should stockpile their household hazardous waste in anticipation of it (seeing the event continue would get people into a routine); and
•it might be possible that provincial funding will assist in recycling some of these materials (exact details, however, were unknown at this time).
Council’s agreement to host Household Hazardous Waste Day involves a financial expenditure of $8,315 to be approved prior to finalization of the 2004 budget.
This is based on a $1 per capita rate—the same as in 2003.
“We hold this once a year. My guess is that we want people to stockpile their hazardous waste at home waiting for this one day,” said Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft.
“My guess is they don’t, and there’s at least some hazardous waste going to the landfill, where it shouldn’t be.
“Would it be possible to have a place on Fifth Street where they can bring stuff regularly, and then have an event like this when we can have it taken all away?” Coun. Wiedenhoeft asked.
“This system is the norm in smaller communities,” replied Brown. “Thunder Bay has a depot, for instance. But cost is the issue. We’d have to identify whether the need is there and determine how much are you willing to spend.”
“I’m guessing any cost would be prohibitive at this time,” answered Coun. Wiedenhoeft.
Household Hazardous Waste Day is designed to facilitate the safe disposal of reactive, flammable, corrosive, poisonous, and otherwise potentially dangerous materials found in the households of Rainy River District’s 27,000 residents, watershed program co-ordinator Martin Nantel noted in a correspondence with Brown.
Some of these materials include fuel, antifreeze, hobby chemicals, cleaners, paints, pesticides, oils, herbicides, insecticides, aerosol cans, batteries, mercury thermometers, and pharmaceuticals.
Last year’s joint event in Fort Frances and Rainy River removed some 4,822 kg of hazardous waste from district homes, said Nantel.
Hazardous materials that are turned in all are transported from here to Harbor-Kleen’s transfer facility in Winnipeg.
From there, the waste is transported to licensed facilities for processing and disposal. Waste paint, petroleum oil, compressed propane cylinders, and lead acid batteries are taken to recycling facilities.
(Fort Frances Times)