Hazardous Waste Removed

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Photo by Lester Smith

Personnel at the June 30 hazardous waste collection discuss the morning’s activity. From the left, Citizen Assistant Bob Borg, Garden Club member Anita Wardell, First Selectman Melissa Mack (who had come by bicycle to view the event) and Public Works Department Executive Assistant Linda Zaffetti. Borg and Wardell had staffed this checkpoint just upstream of the unloading operation, metering the vehicle movement and making a final check on the eligiblity of the intended disposal.

Clean Harbors was again invited to town to collect household hazardous waste materials brought to the pick-up location on Ffyler Place. That company, a large, multinational corporation, is paid to dispose of the material in various government-approved ways. Between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, an almost constant stream of residents arrived to bring their stuff. Drivers were advised to stay in their cars “For Safety” as white-suited workers unloaded and sorted it.

The collection is done on a “pay as we dump” basis, with specific prices tallied carefully as each load is put into the appropriate bin. As it turned out, the Town’s $14,000 budget for the event was expended a short time before the scheduled 1:00 closing. First Selectman Melissa Mack, who was on site, authorized the small overage to accommodate those who had arrived on time.

No funding is provided in the 2018-2019 budget for a haz-waste pick-up next year. Mrs. Mack believes the event should be held every two years.

The service is provided by the Town with help from members of the Suffield Garden Club along with interested citizen Bob Borg, whose official ID badge read “Citizen Assistant.” Borg commented that he is surprised and disappointed that so much of the material discarded was still usable. Paying Clean Harbors to safely dispose of half-full gallon cans of house paint, for instance, seems truly wasteful, and most paints may be left free at Sherwin-Williams in Enfield or True Value Hardware in Granby. 

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