Recycle Utah to offer free hazardous waste collection
Dangerous chemicals and heavy metals will be accepted
September 20, 2017
To help protect Summit County's water sources from dangerous chemicals and heavy metals, Recycle Utah will hold its free household hazardous waste collection event at the end of the month.
Recycle Utah is hosting the collection for Summit County residents on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Canyon's cabriolet parking lot from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sponsors include the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, Park City Municipal and Summit County.
"Those items are hard on our water and they end up in our waste stream. It all goes back to the water," said Carolyn Wawra, Recycle Utah's executive director. "Whatever we put into our landfill can leak into our groundwater and drinking water. It is important o protect our water supply, especially when we live in such a dry climate. The main reason we are doing this is to keep these things out of our landfill."
The waste collections are held twice a year – in the spring and fall. The Sept. 30 event is strictly for households, Wawra said, adding that businesses are responsible for disposing their own waste.
Last year, 475 and 446 cars attended the event in May and October, respectively. Last May, 20,976 pounds of waste and 287 gallons of chemicals were collected. Residents are able to drive up with their items and stay in their vehicles, Wawra said.
Several different items are accepted at the event, including paint, motor oil, household cleaners, pesticides and electronics, such as computers, cell phones and TVs. The Summit County Sheriff's Office will also be collecting pharmaceuticals. Mattress disposal will cost $10 per item.
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"Recycle Utah, on our own, we could not afford to host these kinds of events so we need the collaboration from different agencies," Wawra said. "It is a unique combination of partners that allows us to provide a way for residents to get rid of these things at one location to reduce improper disposal of hazardous materials."
Mike Luers, general manager of the Water Reclamation District, supported Wawra's comments and emphasized the need to keep pharmaceuticals out of the county's waste water.
"Those items, if they are not properly disposed of, then people could possibly flush them down the commode," Luers said. "Like pharmaceuticals for example, we have been studying the impact of pharmaceuticals on our local streams and we are finding these chemicals in the flesh of the fish."
When unused and expired medicine is collected, it reduces the amount that is found in waste water Luers said. He added, "That is a big deal and it is really important that we keep those out of our water."
"When it comes to batteries and other things that are being collected, the idea is you don't want them in our local landfill because it could seep into Rockport Reservoir," Luers said. "The landfill is not a lined landfill. Once it's closed, better technology will be used to ensure it doesn't leak into our water supply. That is what we are faced with here in Summit County."
More than 20 buckets of pharmaceuticals were collected at the most recent event. Luers said he expects similar results.
"Kudos to our residents for not flushing those things and bringing them in," Luers said. "And kudos to the county and city for helping fund this. I would encourage people to participate in this event."
Recycle Utah will hold its hazardous waste collection event at Canyon's cabriolet parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.recycleutah.org or call 435-649-9698.