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Drop off paint, other hazardous materials

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

People with stuff that shouldn’t be dumped into a drain or a stream, like paint, perhaps, on Saturday have a chance to dispose of the material safely.

Recycle Utah on Saturday, Oct. 7 will hold its second and final hazardous-material collection day of 2006. The free collection is scheduled from 9 a.m. until noon at the parking lot at The Canyons.

The events, which are scheduled each year, are meant to ensure that people do not dispose of the material in ways that are harmful to people, animals or the environment.

"The point is that once hazardous waste gets into our watershed, we do not have the ability to clean it up," Insa Riepen, who heads the not-for-profit, says.

She also says that disposing of the waste appropriately assists emergency workers like firefighters. She says lots of the waste that is collected is explosive and, should it catch fire, it could endanger the people fighting the blaze.

"Who has to come to our house and business to save us? That is the fire department," Riepen says.

Recycle Utah on Saturday will accept any sort of waste except radioactive material. Riepen, though, says that 80 percent of what is collected during the events is typically paint and paint thinner.

Other materials that are frequently collected, she says, are fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and cleaning products.

Most of the paint is made of latex, she says, and usually is a result of people inaccurately estimating how much they will need.

"People buy too much and then have leftover," Riepen says.

In a similar event in May, Recycle Utah collected 12,000 pounds of latex and oil paint, by far the biggest percentage of material collected, Riepen reports. She says that the organization in May also collected 750 pounds of petroleum products and 500 pounds of toxic liquids.

Riepen says that Recycle Utah, at the Saturday event only, will collect broken-down or otherwise unused refrigerators and expects that up to 15 will be dropped off. collecting refrigerators, she says, Recycle Utah can keep Freon from being dumped. Tires and car batteries will also be accepted.

Anyone may drop material off from 9 a.m. until noon. Appointments are required for small businesses. They are available between noon and 1 p.m. The businesses are charged 50 cents per pound.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday will also collect expired medicines. Riepen says that people should not flush medication down a toilet because water-treatment plants are not equipped to cleanse the residue.

"We don’t want you to flush them down the garbage disposal or the toilet," Riepen says.

The Sheriff’s Office wants people to bring original bottles or packaging when they drop the medications off. The medicines will be incinerated, Riepen says.

For more information about the event, call Recycle Utah at 649-9698 or visit the organization’s World Wide Web site, http://www.recycleutah.org.


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