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Hazardous Waste Roundup a big success

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 | 7:56 am

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<p>Jurek Szymczak helps sort household hazardous waste into barrels. Volunteers collected materials Saturday afternoon. (Photo Marshall Jones)</p>

Jurek Szymczak helps sort household hazardous waste into barrels. Volunteers collected materials Saturday afternoon. (Photo Marshall Jones)

By Holly Miyasaki

Pouring rain and a new location didn’t stop Kelowna residents from lining up at this year’s Hazardous Waste Roundup–and the results eclipsed last year’s.

Rae Stewart, waste reduction spokesperson, says the community understands the importance of such an event and that’s why there was a turnout of about 1,050 this year, compared to less than 1,000 last year.

While numbers are still being tabulated, Stewart says this year there was about 45,000 litres of waste, whereas last year the amount dropped off was 38,000 litres.

“This is an easy avenue to dispose of their eco-nasties,” she says, adding it was pretty easy for participants who, for the most part, stayed in their cars while volunteers unloaded their hazardous waste items.

The new location, at 1000 KLO Rd. (the Okanagan College campus) also worked well. Stewart reports people understood the access point was off Raymer and there were no traffic congestion problems.

Other than moving a bit slower due to the slipper conditions, the wait times weren’t too severe either, she adds.

At least 75 volunteers, from Rutland Senior Secondary’s environmental science class to at least 40 Okanagan Mission Lions Club members, helped collect the wastes. The items are now being packed up and separated into their different chemical families to be recycled or disposed of in a safe manner.

And the strangest item that was dropped off this year? A 60-year-old barometer with mercury still inside.

Disposal information from Regional Waste Reduction:

  • The Battery Doctors (1972 Windsor Road) collects all the paint, pesticides and flammable liquids under the Product Care provincial stewardship program. Leftover latex and oil paint is reprocessed into paint and product coatings. Latex paint as a raw material is also incorporated in the manufacture of recycled concrete and in the manufacture of Portland cement.
  • The Battery Doctors also collect household batteries, and send them to Toxco in Trail for recycling, as well as car batteries, which are sent to KC Recycling  in Trail. The battery cases are recycled into low-pressure irrigation line, the acid base in made into fertilizer and the lead is made into plates for new batteries.
  • Newalta from Lake Country collects all the used oil, oil filters, and waste antifreeze. The oil is sent to the Newalta processing plant in North Vancouver and refined into new motor oil. The oil filters are sent to Delta, BC where the oil is drained out and sent on to North Vancouver, and the paper material and metals are cleaned and recycled. Antifreeze is sent to various recycling facilities in Alberta and B.C., where the glycol is distilled out, reformulated into recycled antifreeze and other products for resale.
  • Other fuels, varnishes, paints, concrete sealers and solvents are collected by Environmental Field Services, a Port Coquitlam company, and sent to Swan Hills Alberta, to be incinerated in a special hazardous waste incinerator. Pesticides, PCBs and other reactive chemicals, including cyanide, are also sent to Swan Hills for incineration. Environmental Field Services also collects materials such as corrosive acids like battery cleaners, rust removers, concrete cleaners and liquid drain cleaners and inorganic alkali materials like ammonia, oven cleaners and drain opener pellets, which are then sent to a Vancouver company where they are neutralized- the water portion is sent to a water treatment facility, the sludge is solidified and sent to a chemical landfill in Ryley Alberta.
  • Metal propane tanks, collected by Viper Fuels of Chemainus on Vancouver Island, are shredded and recycled.

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