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Household hazardous waste collection event set for Saturday

After being postponed earlier this year due to the pandemic, a household hazardous waste collection event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Rogue Transfer Station on Table Rock Road in White City.

Residential cleaning supplies, pesticides, insecticides, pool chemicals, weed killer, paint remover, wood preservatives, light ballasts, batteries and thermostats will be accepted. A $5 fee has been waived to minimize person-to-person contact.

Paint, fluorescent light tubes, biological waste, asbestos, propane tanks, antifreeze, explosives, radioactive material, ammunition and industrial waste will not be accepted.

Ashland Recology is assisting with household hazardous waste removal from Almeda fire-damaged sites through separate coordination with local agencies, but this event is not intended for any Almeda fire debris.

About 45,000 pounds of hazardous waste are generated each year, from drain cleaner and weed killer to bleach and bug spray, said Jamie Rosenthal, of Ashland Recology.

Calls have been coming in since May, when the event is traditionally held, asking where to dispose of batteries, mercury thermometers and other toxic household items.

“There are a lot of disappointed people in the world thinking that we weren’t even going to have the event this year at all, so the fact that we’re having it now, this weekend, is going to be pretty huge for people,” Rosenthal said.

“Environmentally responsible” disposal of the waste typically costs $125 per vehicle — multiplied by an average 500 vehicles per annual event — and is paid for by Recology, Southern Oregon Sanitation and Rogue Disposal.

Most diverted materials are sent to facilities owned by contractor Clean Harbors in Utah, Arkansas and Nebraska, where they are destroyed or processed for reuse, according to Rosenthal. A small portion of materials unsuited for other technology makes its way back to a hazardous waste landfill.

COVID-19 safety protocols at the drop-off event require all participants to stay inside their vehicles while trained personnel remove items, preferably from the trunk or rear section of the vehicle.

Businesses can make appointments to dispose of hazardous waste, with fees according to the type and volume, by calling 541-779-4161. Information about fire debris disposal can be found at www.recology.com/recology_news/fire-debris-clean-up-information/.

Contact Ashland Tidings reporter Allayana Darrow at adarrow@rosebudmedia.com or 530-598-2818 and follow her on Twitter @AllayanaD.

Materials are processed at Rogue Disposal in White City on Oct. 3, 2017. Mail Tribune File Photo