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Sugar House Park to host hazardous waste collection

Thursday, July 19, 2012904 views

The average home accumulates 15 pounds of hazardous materials every year. Hazardous materials are any products used for everyday upkeep or cleaning, which pose a risk to health or the environment if disposed of improperly.

“It’s important to keep these products out of communities,” said Florence Reynolds, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities water quality administrator. Some of these materials include pesticides, cleaners, paint, batteries and florescent light bulbs.

To help residents properly dispose of the dangerous materials, the SLC Green Household Hazardous Waste Collection program has been taking hazardous waste from residents free of charge. The collection will not take hazardous materials from businesses.

The Sugar House Park Mt. Olympus Pavilion (1500 East 2100 South) has been the site of two drop-offs this summer. The drop-offs were held on the first Thursdays in June and July.

The program has been going on for more than 20 years and is sponsored by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, Salt Lake Department of Public Utilities and the Salt Lake Police Department.

Explosives, radioactive materials, dynamite, and electronics containing Freon will not be accepted. All other household chemicals and electronics can be dropped off at the hazardous waste collection.

Prescription medications are also being taken at the Sugar House Park on the collection days. It is the only collection site taking prescription drugs. The drugs will need to be given to a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department, who will be present at the drop-off.

“We see a lot of participation from the east bench,” Household Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator Dan Moore said. “[Sugar House] residents don’t want to drive all the way to the landfill.”

The last drop off in Sugar House Park will be on Thursday, Aug. 2 from 7 to 10 a.m.

Drivers can pull into the Mt. Olympus parking lot and line up to have their electronics and hazardous waste taken away. Prescription drugs need to be taken over to the Salt Lake Police Officers on site.

Residents dropping hazardous waste have been asked to be carful when bringing the materials in their cars.

“We are happy to take [the hazardous materials] from them, but people need to be mindful and careful,” Moore said.

Chemicals need to be are sealed closed. In addition, it’s important to make sure the hazardous materials won’t leak or tip over in the car.

“There are a lot of consequences to misusing waste,” Reynolds said. Properly disposing of waste also extends the life of landfills. The landfills have a limited lifespan. When they close, residents might have to go to privatized landfills.

“[The collections] have been very successful,” Reynolds said. Last year between the collections and permanent drop-off sites in Salt Lake City, nearly 2 million pounds of hazardous waste was collected.

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