RUMFORD – Residents in nine River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition towns will have a chance on Saturday, June 3, to get rid of hazardous household wastes.
The coalition, with a $35,000 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, will gather pesticides and herbicides, household chemicals, paint thinners and cleaners from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Region 9 School of Applied Technology on the River Road in Mexico.
Residents of Canton, Hanover, Andover, Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Byron, Roxbury and Peru can take part in the project. Volunteers from the coalition and employees from the Northern Oxford Regional Solid Waste facility and Environmental Project Inc. will staff the collection.
Funds for the project come from fines levied against the MeadWestvaco paper mill for polluting the environment, said Patricia Duguay, coalition coordinator.
The June waste collection takes the place of the collection generally conducted in the fall.
“This is the time to collect such wastes,” said Duguay, “during the spring clean-up.”
The goal is to collect about 600 five-gallon or 20-pound units, she said.
Materials will be hauled off by Environmental Project Inc. of Gray and taken to disposal facilities.
Household hazardous wastes includes liquids or solids in containers marked caution, warning, danger, poison, toxic, flammable or corrosive. The wastes include varnish and paint removers, lawn fertilizers, solvent-based glues, swimming pool chemicals, antifreeze, rat poison, gasoline, moth balls and driveway sealer.
All materials should be taken to the site in their original containers if possible.
Latex paint will not be accepted since it may be disposed of in the regular garbage.
Duguay said she hopes the funding will be available to hold a similar collection next year. If not, a household hazardous waste collection will continue with funding by the towns, she said.
Some of the grant will also be used for vouchers that will allow residents of the nine towns to haul household hazardous wastes to Lewiston’s solid waste facility at 424 River Road, which accepts it on the first and third Saturdays of each month.