May 21, 2007
County Residents Will Have Opportunities to Get Rid of Household Hazardous Wastes
Oswego County Legislators took an important step toward helping residents safely dispose of household hazardous wastes at the May 10 meeting of the County Legislature. Legislators voted unanimously to establish a capital projects account for building a permanent household hazardous waste facility. Oswego County received a $175,000 grant from State Senator Jim Wright to be used for the project. The Legislature allocated another $125,000 to cover engineering and construction costs.
Although it will be at least a year before it becomes operational, the facility will provide an environmentally safe and acceptable way for people to get rid of turpentine and paints, pesticides, disinfectants, and other household materials that can pollute our environment. An engineering consultant will be hired to evaluate the best location and type of structure for the facility. The total cost is expected to be $300,000.
In the meantime, two household hazardous waste collections have been scheduled for this year. They will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 9, and again Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Bristol Hill Landfill site, state Route 3, Volney. The collection events will only be open to Oswego County residents and there will be no charge. Business and industrial wastes will not be accepted.
As I mentioned in my State of the County address in February, an organized collection program gives us some assurance that hazardous household wastes are safely collected and disposed of in a manner that's consistent with sound environmental practices. Materials such as antifreeze, turpentine, solvents, and pesticides can be very toxic. If not properly disposed of, they can cause serious injury to individuals' health and contaminate our environment.
Opportunities for county residents to safely dispose of hazardous household wastes have been limited. Due to financial considerations, the county hasn't held a collection program since 2001. The infrequency of holding these events sends a mixed message to our citizens. We need to give people an opportunity to safely dispose of household hazardous waste on a regular basis.
Specific instructions for the June and September events are posted on the county Web site at http://oswegocounty.com/dsw.shtml. Materials should be in their original containers. All wastes should be packed carefully. Any leaking containers should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in a clear plastic bag.
I want to thank the Legislature's Infrastructure and Facilities Committee, chaired by Legislator Michael French, District 23, and Solid Waste Director Frank Visser and his staff, for their work on this project. In addition to Legislator French, the committee includes legislators Phillip Vasho, vice chairman, District 22; Clayton Brewer, District 24; Barbara Brown, District 8; Daniel Chalifoux, District 19; Arthur Gearsbeck, District 6; Paul Natoli, District 11; Leonard Ponzi, District 17; and Milferd Potter, District 2.
For more information call the Department of Solid Waste at 591-9100 or the county transfer stations at 591-9211, 564-5623, 668-8821, 349-3439, or 298-6062.
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