Summit County Government

Posted on: April 21, 2015

Summit County Announces Inaugural Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event May 16

Photo of piles of paint cans.

Summit County Resource Allocation Park will be open to the public on Saturday mornings, beginning June 6

Contacts:
Thad Noll, Assistant County Manager
970-453-3438, thadn@co.summit.co.us
Aaron Byrne, Director, Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP)
970-468-9263, aaronb@co.summit.co.us

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County will hold its inaugural household hazardous waste collection event in concert with Countywide Cleanup Day, on Saturday, May 16. Crews will accept paints, cleaners, solvents, pesticides and other household products that are poisonous, flammable or corrosive.

“Cleanup Day has always been a great event in Summit County, with hundreds of people rolling up their sleeves to ensure that our community sparkles after the long winter season,” Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “We’re excited to take that community pride to the next level, by offering a free opportunity to keep our local waterways clean as well.”

When household hazardous waste is improperly disposed of, or dumped down drains or storm sewers, it can seriously damage water quality and aquatic habitats. All household hazardous waste collected during the event will be disposed of by Veolia, with whom Summit County has contracted to ensure the highest standards of safety and pollution control.

The event is part of a new series of special-waste collection events funded through the Summit County Safety First Fund, approved by voters in November 2014. During the first two events, held in January and March, Summit County collected old electronics and unused pharmaceuticals. The vehicle count for both events totaled 1,045; residents and property owners dropped off 70 tons of electronics and 195 pounds of medications. Electronics and pharmaceuticals will also be accepted at the May 16 event.

“The participation in these drop-off events has been absolutely tremendous,” said Aaron Byrne, director of the Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP). “We’re very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place that’s full of citizens who are so committed to protecting it.”

The SCRAP is also now accepting household hazardous waste and electronics for free onsite drop-off during regular business hours, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Beginning June 6, the SCRAP will extend its regular business hours to include Saturday mornings, 7 a.m. to 12 noon, in order to increase the convenience of special-waste disposal. The added services and hours are funded through the Safety First Fund.

“Over the past several months, we’ve been working to get all the necessary systems and training in place to be able to safely collect and store these materials and ensure they’re recycled or disposed of properly. We’re confident that we can now handle a significantly increased volume of special waste at the SCRAP,” Byrne said.

The May 16 event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Summit Stage Bus Barn, 0222 County Shops Rd., Frisco, next to the County Commons. Collection will take place in multiple bus bays in order to shorten lines and reduce wait times relative to the January event, when 620 vehicles arrived to drop off items.

Accepted household hazardous waste items include paints, stains, pesticides, fertilizers, cleansers, solvents, adhesives, and mercury thermometers and switches. Materials must be in their original containers and/or clearly labeled. Household hazardous waste items not accepted at this event, but accepted onsite at the SCRAP, include antifreeze, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, kerosene, batteries and motor oil. Items not accepted at the SCRAP or the event include explosives, ammunition, infectious waste, propane tanks and radioactive materials.

Electronics items accepted at the event include computers, monitors, printers, phones, audio equipment, TVs, tablets and electronics accessories. Accepted pharmaceutical items include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medication samples, vitamins, prescribed narcotics, medicated lotions and ointments, inhalers, liquid medications in leak-proof containers and unopened transdermal skin patches. Items not accepted include needles, lancets, thermometers, infectious waste, personal care products, medical marijuana, business waste and aerosol cans.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will document and destroy all the pharmaceuticals. The electronics collection will be facilitated by Electronic Recyclers International, which will disassemble or shred all materials and recycle 100 percent of the constituent materials. The company will physically destroy all hard drives and data storage devices to protect against theft of personal data.

Colorado law prohibits disposal of electronic devices in landfills. When these products do end up in the landfill, they can leach toxic pollutants into soil and water. Pharmaceuticals can end up in water supplies when they’re disposed of in landfills or flushed down toilets or drains.

The Summit County Safety First Fund provides about $630,000 for water quality protections annually. Of that, $300,000 is allocated to cleanup of local waterways impaired by historical mining activities. Summit County is using the remaining funds to address modern-day water quality threats, including electronics waste, household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals.

Non-narcotic pharmaceuticals may be disposed of at drop-off bins at City Market stores in Breckenridge and Dillon year round. Narcotics are accepted at the Summit County collection events and at the new secure drop-off bin at the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge.

High Country Conservation Center is recruiting volunteers to assist with the May 16 collection event. For more information about Summit County’s collection, disposal and recycling of special waste, or to volunteer, contact the High Country Conservation Center at 970-668-5703, or visit www.highcountryconservation.org.

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