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Hazardous Waste Day coming

By Lori O'Brien


SOUTH HADLEY Disposing of expired medications is a new twist for the town's popular Hazardous Waste Day planned Oct. 7 at the Department of Public Works garage.

Residents who are interested in participating in the free collections must pre-register by calling (413) 538-5033. Collection hours will be from 8 a.m. to noon.

Businesses may also participate in the collection, however, they must submit an inventory of their wastes and will be charged appropriately for the disposal cost.

The collection day is an ideal time for residents to dispose of unwanted medications and hazardous materials from their homes, according to Jane Southworth, solid waste coordinator.

Not sure what to bring? Any substance labeled caustic, toxic, corrosive, poison or flammable is appropriate for the collection day, according to Southworth. Other key words on substances can include "warning," "danger," and "caution," and those items can be included in the collection day.

Typical materials from one's yard can range from pesticides, insect sprays, fungicides, flea powder and herbicides to root and rodent killers, muriatic acid, no-pest strips, pool chemicals and lighter fluid. Garage items that are appropriate to dispose of can range from engine degreaser, gas treatments and gasoline to kerosene, solvents, brake fluid and refrigerants.

Standard products that also may be dropped off include oven cleaners, furniture polish, upholstery cleaner, metal polish, mothballs, spot remover, drain and toilet cleaners, chemistry kits, arts and crafts supplies and button batteries. Workshop-type materials also welcome during collection day include solvents, varnish, sealants, wood strippers, rust inhibitors, paint thinners, degreasers, stains, photo chemicals and lead and oil-based paints.

Town residents are reminded they cannot bring latex paint, empty containers from hazardous products, asbestos, gas cylinders, radioactive material and explosives (ammunition and fireworks).

The special unwanted medications collection is an opportunity for residents to clean out medicine cabinets, drawers and cupboards and bring all expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications for proper disposal, added Southworth.

The event is a collaborative effort of the Board of Health, the DPW Solid Waste Division, and intern Chalak Muhammed. Funding is provided by NorthEast Waste Services, the town's landfill operator, and Allied Waste, the solid waste hauler.