Commercial hazardous waste can be dropped-off at landfill
Small businesses will be able to drop off hazardous material waste at the Three Mile Canyon Landfill in Rockport on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In the past, the Summit County Department of Public Works held events like this at intervals for both households and businesses to bring in materials like car batteries and paints. Businesses were only allotted one hour of the day.
Since the beginning of the year, a trailer has been on-site at the landfill to allow residents to drop off hazardous waste free of charge, but commercial entities are prohibited.
On Sept. 22, businesses that qualify as "small quantity generators" will also be able to drop off materials for a fee determined by a third-party vendor.
"This is a real service for businesses to be able to do this in an orderly fashion on a workday," said Lola Beatlebrox, outreach director for Recycle Utah.
An appointment is required, since the vendor will be multitasking. The landfill has been storing dropped off material in a trailer, and as the vendor unloads it, they will also accept commercial drop-offs, said Mark Offret, solid waste superintendent for the county.
The fee used to be a simple 50 cents a pound, now it is more complicated and based on the type of material, Offret said. The prices are matched with the state bid, and can’t be beat.
If a business knows exactly what it wants to drop off, it may be possible to give an estimate over the phone, he said.
Offret hopes to hold another drop-off day in January, and then begin to schedule them regularly on a quarterly basis.
Beatlebrox said the community has responded well to these events in the past.
"Painters, for example, want to be good citizens. They won’t throw paint away anymore," she said.
Hazardous materials can contaminate a landfill, and get into the groundwater, Offret said.
"We don’t want it where it shouldn’t be so we promote the disposal of it properly," he explained.
Bob Peek, owner of Peek Painting in Park City, has participated in the drop-offs in the past.
When he has more stored up than can wait until the next county drop-off, he’ll take it all the way down to the Salt Lake landfill.
"I don’t know what else to do, I can’t dump it," he said.
But what he means is "won’t" dump it. Peek admits that when he’s at the Salt Lake landfill, he hears people mutter that they’re just going to dump their chemicals down a drain after learning of the 40 cents a pound fee at that facility.
Enforcement of the law is weak, but Beatlebrox said she’s seen increasing social consciousness about this issue.
Many of the materials contain mercury or equally dangerous components that not only damage the environment, but have adverse effects on humans.
Peek agrees, saying he gets questions from clients all the time asking where they can dispose of materials. He’s glad to tell them about the landfill, but wishes there was an easier way for businesses to dispose of it properly.
"Honestly, I’m willing to pay it, I don’t hesitate. There are people who don’t pay it," he said. "I believe it should be subsidized if that’s a possibility For businesses, it should be a little easier to dispose of."
Who: Small quantity generators (most small businesses qualify).
When: Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Three Mile Canyon Landfill in Rockport.
Why: Safe, legal and convenient disposal of hazardous materials.
How: Call the Public Works Department in Coalville to set an appointment 615-3970.
What: Automotive products including anti-freeze, used oil, brake and transmission fluid, car batteries, tires, gasoline, diesel, and fuel additives, solvents, and degreasers.
Paints, solvents, paint thinners, strippers, stains and finishes.
Household cleaners including polishes and cleaners, drain openers and oven cleaners.
Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
Rechargeable batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, pool and spa chemicals.
Mercury-containing items including switches, thermostats, and thermometers.
Propane and white gas fuel cylinders.
Film developing chemicals, insect repellents and smoke detectors.
Non-working appliances containing Freon including air conditioners and refrigerators.
Electronic and computer waste is accepted at Recycle Utah at 1951 Woodbine Way.
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Starting Friday, fires and charcoal grilling will only be allowed in improved fire pits or grills on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.