By Beth David, Editor
More than 200 Fairhaven residents got ride of hazardous materials at the town’s Household Hazardous Waste Date at the public works building on Saturday, 10/6/18. Held from 9 a.m. to noon, the event started much earlier, with cars lined up on Route 6 as early as 8:15 a.m. Residents were able to get rid of old paints, solvents, batteries, aerosol cans, and any other item they just did not really know how to dispose of properly.
This year, the event also offered paper shredding, and the Gifts to Give trailer, which accepted gently used clothes, books and other items to be donated to families.
Also new this year, was a paint “reclaiming” area, where latex paint, not too old, was accepted for re-use. The paint is screened and then re-sold, said Tania Keeble, co-owner of Recolor. She said most of the day’s take would probably be sold to Habitat for Humanity.
Peter Perry said he was unloading some paint and antifreeze that had been around the ouse for years. He said he did not need it anymore and had no idea what to do with it, so it sat around for about 10 years.
“I wish they’d do it more [often],” said Mr. Perry, adding that the items would just pile up at home.
He would never dump it illegally, he said, but there are not a lot of options to get rid of it properly.
Faron Margeson said he had oil, antifreeze, and batteries to dispose of. He said he had changed his radiator fluid and flushed out the system in his house last year and the old chemicals were just sitting there, waiting to get disposed of properly.
“Old school solvents,” said Douglass Durr, about his load of items. He also had some latex paints, but had no idea if they were too old to be re-used.
David Chadwick of Chadwick’s Awards had an interesting load: Screen printing ink from the building he bought recently in Fairhaven. Although not reclaimable as paint, the town did take it off his hands as hazardous materials.
Dianna Meloni and Joseph Theodore had trouble, though, getting approved to dispose of a pickup truck full of paints and other paint-related items, like joint compound. Officials said it looked like a commercial operation and, at first, refused to accept it. Ms. Meloni said the items were in a house she bought on Lafayette Street, not from a commercial operation, that she knew of anyway. She also noted that nowhere in the notices did it say no commercial operations allowed.
Helpers for the day included all three Board of Health members, chairperson Peter DeTerra, Michael Silvia, Jeannine Lopes, Health Agent Mary Freire-Kellogg, Administrative Assistant Amanda Blais, and Health Department Intern Daniel Shea. They sorted, packed, educated residents, and catalogued information throughout the morning.
Ms. Freire-Kellogg was especially happy with the turnout, she said.
She pointed to a large case of latex paint that would be reclaimed.
“It’s not in the garbage,” she said. “So, how much weight is here? It keeps it out of the trash, and we pay by the ton.”
She said she would like to expand the program to be annual, instead of every other year, but she needs to get the money approved by Town Meeting.
According to the Board of Health, 182 residents participated in the latex paint reclamation, adding up to six pallets with 450 one-gallon cans, 216 quart-size cans and 27 five-gallon buckets of paint recovered. All told, 229 residents took advantage of the opportunity on Saturday.
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