By Beth David, Editor
Fairhaven held a household hazardous waste day, giving residents a chance to properly dispose of toxic chemicals that are difficult to get rid of. On Saturday, 10/26/19, almost 200 cars arrived at the public works barn to turn in old paints, aerosols, weed and bug killers, and other substances that tend to accumulate in basements, sheds, and under the sink.
According to Fairhaven Health Agent Mary Freire-Kellogg, 187 cars went through the line. Residents dropped off a total of 1 large box of aersol paint; 1 box of propane; five paint related toxic subsances, such as paint thinners and stains; eight flammable liquids; one corrosive acid; pesticides, both solid and liquid; batteries.
Recolor Paints, Inc., was also on hand to accept latex paints that could be recycled. The company recolors the paint and sells it at a discount to municipalities and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
Residents dropped of 10,000 pounds of paint that will be reclaimed.
MXI Inc. out of Pennsylvania handled the collection of the hazardous materials, sorting and empyting out the liquids that could be used as fuel.
Craig Potter of MXI said that the oil based substances would be used to fire a waste-to-energy plant. Any other materials that can be re-used would be sorted out.
“I had too much fun today,” said Mr. Potter, noting that he is usually counting, not actually pouring out cans. “I actually got to crack open cans.”
Ms. Kellogg said the company was very accommodating with the changes this year. The operation was moved to the back of the building and cars were routing around the public works barn. It was a smooth operation, she said.
Fairhaven resident Al Costa said it was his first time using the service. He got rid of some antifreeze and other chemicals.
“I thinks it’s a great idea,” said Mr. Costa, noting that his wife saw the ad in the Neighb News.
He said the substances just accumulate over the years, and they hang onto it until “something like this” comes up so they can get rid of it.
“I hope they contnue it,” said Mr. Costa.
John Reth got rid of oil, antifreeze, “miscellaneous engine products,” and some latex paint. He said he had been trying to get to one of the disposal days for four years, but kept missing it. Some of the items have been sitting around for years.
“I haven’t worked on cars for 10 or 15 years, so it’s just been sitting in the cellar,” said Mr. Reth. “It’s good for the people, yeah.”
John Koska and his son Mike took in a bunch of antifreeze, lead paint, and other chemicals that had spend “a lot of years in the basement,” said Mike.
“I don’t throw anything out,” said John.
“It’s great having this,” said Mike. “Otherwise what the hell do you do with this stuff?”
His father agreed.
“It is great,” he said. “Years ago, everything went right in the dump.”
Ms. Kellogg had a couple of volunteers to help her count cars and keep track of some of the items coming it. Karen Beaston of Fairhaven is part of the Medical Reserve Corps, and said it was a good chance to get in some volunteer time where she lives.
Reid Santos of New Bedford is interning with the health department, so it was all part of her learning process.
Ms. Kellogg said the program now has its own line item to be held every year, but the budgeting has been moved to the public works department.
The town will also be accepting broken string lights this year to keep them out of the trash, where they tend to wrap around machinery.
During the year, if you need to dispose of hazardous materials, call the health department, 508-979-4023, Ext 125.
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