Hazardous waste collection set for Jay, surrounding towns

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JAY — A hazardous waste collection for residents here and in surrounding towns will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Jay Recycling and Transfer Facility on Route 4.

People often do not think of the chemical products they use on a daily basis as hazardous, or for that matter as chemicals, but many common household products are hazardous, and when they need to be discarded, they are hazardous waste, according to an Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments prepared statement.

The collection is free to the residents of Jay, Chesterville, Farmington, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

Residents from other towns may be able to participate for free. They are advised to check with their town office or AVCOG at 783-9186 to determine if it covers the cost for disposal. Residents of other towns can pay at the door with cash or check.  The cost is $27.50 for every 5 gallons of liquid waste or 20 pounds of dry waste, or a combination. 

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These collections are the cheapest, most environmentally friendly way to dispose of the hazardous products found around the home, according to AVCOG.

“It is amazing what we all seem to store in our cellars, garages and sheds. I’m always surprised to see jars of mercury, lead paint that is more than 30 years old and old soggy bags of pesticides,” Ferg Lea, an environmental engineer at AVCOG, said.  “It’s good to get these hazards out of the house. Kids can get into them, and many are also a fire hazard. The chemicals that we use every day can also harm fish and wildlife if not properly disposed. It’s important to keep these hazardous materials out of sewer and septic systems, roadside ditches and storm drains.” 

Last year, one-day collections throughout the AVCOG region disposed of more than 5,000 gallons of hazardous petroleum products, oil-based paints and related products. In 2010, Jay residents and those of surrounding towns kept approximately 385 gallons of household hazardous waste from contaminating the environment. 

“With 10 collections around the region, that put Jay somewhat under the average collection size,” Lea said. “I’d like to see this Jay collection move up to be above average in the quantity of wastes brought in.” 

Household products having words such as “caution, warning, poison, corrosive, toxic, volatile, combustible, flammable or danger” on the label should be brought to the collection when no longer needed. Smoke detectors are also accepted. The collection will not accept latex paint, solar batteries (wet cell alkaline), ammunition or explosives.

For more information, residents can contact AVCOG at 783-9186 or visit www.avcog.org. Residents are asked to bring their hazardous wastes to the event in original containers, if possible. Leaking containers can be placed in plastic bags or cardboard boxes. 

This event is part of the ongoing Western Maine Environmental Depot Collection Program run by AVCOG in conjunction with the municipalities in the AVCOG region and a private, qualified contractor. Those not able to make this collection can contact AVCOG to learn of other events.

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