RUMFORD – Next weekend, residents of SAD 44 towns and surrounding communities can rid their homes of certain hazardous wastes that may have been sitting on shelves for years, gathering dust.

These would be things like oil-based paints, poisons and pesticides, old gasoline and contaminated waste oil, or old pool chemicals. Essentially, almost anything packing the words “caution, warning, poison, corrosive, toxic, volatile, flammable or danger” on labels.

But leave your latex paint, ammunition, explosives, and smoke detectors at home. They’re not accepted, according to a Wednesday report from Ferg Lea, an environmental engineer with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in Auburn.

“As people do a little fall cleanup around their homes, we hope they will take advantage of this collection to get rid of those hazardous materials under their sinks and in their basements and garages,” Lea said.

The materials pose a risk to children, create significant fire hazards, and present hazards to firefighters should there be a fire.

“In addition, they cause air and water pollution if not properly handled, and, they create a risk to solid waste workers if thrown in the regular trash,” Lea said.

The wastes should be brought in in original containers, if possible. Leaking containers should be placed in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.

The collection will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 7, at the SAD 44 bus barn in Bethel at Main and Cross streets.

Participating towns include Bethel, Greenwood, Hanover, Newry, Woodstock and most surrounding towns. Lea stated that residents from towns not listed should check the AVCOG Web site (www.avcog.org) to determine if their town participates in AVCOG’s household hazardous waste collections.

Residents dropping off items from nonparticipating towns must pay $26 for every 5 gallons of liquid waste or 20 pounds of dry waste, or a combination of the two.

The event is part of the ongoing Western Maine Environmental Depot Collection Program run by AVCOG in conjunction with municipalities in the AVCOG region and a private, qualified contractor, Lea said.

The AVCOG Western Maine Environmental Depot is located at Lewiston’s Solid Waste Facility at 424 River Road. It is open from 8 a.m. to noon on the first and third Saturdays of the month from April through November.

For more information, phone AVCOG at 783-9186.


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