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Free drop-off event for electronics, household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals takes place on Countywide Cleanup Day
Aaron Byrne, Director, Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP)
970-468-9263, firstname.lastname@example.org SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County will hold its free annual recycling event in concert with Countywide Cleanup Day, on Saturday, May 20. Accepted special-waste items include electronics, household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals.
“This is a great opportunity to make your spring-cleaning projects more environmentally friendly,” Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “Proper disposal of these categories of special waste is an effective way to conserve resources, protect our water quality and divert material from the landfill.”
The recycling event, free to all Summit County residents and property owners, is funded through the Summit County Safety First Fund, approved by voters in November 2014. Collection will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Summit Stage Bus Barn, 0222 County Shops Rd., Frisco, next to the County Commons. During last year’s event, Summit County collected 24.9 tons of electronics, 117 pounds of pharmaceuticals and 16.6 tons of household hazardous waste.
“The Summit community has really embraced these events and demonstrated its passion for protecting our mountain environment,” said Aaron Byrne, director of the Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP). “It’s really an amazing sight to see hundreds of community members taking time out of their weekend, streaming through the bus barn, to ensure that these items aren’t going to pose a risk to our lakes, rivers and wildlife.”
The collection event is for household items only. Commercial loads are not accepted at the event, but businesses may bring electronics and hazardous waste directly to the SCRAP during regular business hours for recycling and/or safe disposal. Neither household nor commercial appliances are accepted at the event, but they are accepted at the SCRAP.
High Country Conservation Center is recruiting volunteers to assist with the May 20 collection event. To volunteer, contact the High Country Conservation Center at 970-668-5703, or visit www.highcountryconservation.org.
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 at the event include explosives, ammunition, infectious waste, propane tanks and radioactive materials.
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 and Green Sheen, with whom Summit County has contracted to ensure the highest standards of safety and pollution control.
Electronics items accepted at the event include computers, monitors, printers, phones, audio equipment, TVs, tablets and electronics accessories. Colorado law prohibits disposal of electronic devices in landfills. When these products do end up in the landfill, they can leach toxic pollutants.
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.
Accepted pharmaceutical items include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medication samples, vitamins, prescribed narcotics, medicated lotions and ointments, liquid medications in original leak-proof containers, unopened transdermal skin patches, needles and lancets. Items not accepted include illicit drugs, inhalers, thermometers, infectious waste, chemotherapy waste, personal care products, sunscreen, marijuana, business waste and aerosol cans.
When pharmaceuticals are disposed of in landfills or flushed down toilets or drains, they can pollute water supplies and impact wildlife. Expired or unused medications that are left in medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse or abuse. Twenty-nine percent of Coloradans have used pain medication prescribed for someone else, according to the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will arrange for safe destruction of all pharmaceuticals collected at the event.
For Summit residents and property owners who can’t make it to the event, the SCRAP also accepts household hazardous waste and electronics for free drop-off onsite during regular business hours, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, year-round. Proof of residency or property ownership is required. Since the inception of the free special-waste programs in 2015, Summit County residents and property owners have recycled and/or safely disposed of 442 tons of electronics and 109 tons of household hazardous waste.
Household medications may be disposed of year-round in secure drop-off bins at the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge, Prescription Alternatives pharmacy in Frisco and Dillon Police Department. And Summit County Public Health provides a needle collection bin at the Justice Center. For more info on medication drop-off bins, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/takemedsback.