BETHEL —  On Saturday, Sept. 22, between 9 and 11:30 a.m., residents in the Bethel area will be able to bring their unwanted poisons, pesticides and oil-based paints to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the SAD 44 Bus Barn.  It is located at the corner of Main and Cross streets near the railroad tracks.

For the past decade, the towns of Bethel, Greenwood and Woodstock, along with Hanover and Newry, have worked with Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments to hold a Household Hazardous Waste collection day. This is the best and safest way to dispose of the potentially hazardous wastes generated by households. Others participating in this event include residents from River Valley, West Paris and Waterford (including Albany Township, Mason Township and Stoneham). Approximately 480 gallons of hazardous waste were collected at last year’s event.  

Ferg Lea, an environmental engineer at AVCOG, said, “Hazardous substances such as oil based paints, pesticides and old gasoline can cause significant environmental, health and safety problems if not properly disposed or even if left around the house.  This is one of few places in the state where residents can safely get rid of them.” 

These events are 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.  Residents may also bring their hazardous waste to the other events in the region or to the Environmental Depot, the permanent facility at the Lewiston Solid Waste Facility at 424 River Road. It is open from 8 a.m. to noon the first and third Saturdays of each month, except for three-day holiday weekends, May through November. 

Residents of towns participating in the AVCOG HHW collection program are free to participate in any collection event at no cost.  Residents from other communities can bring waste to the Depot or an event at a cost of $28 per five gallons. AVCOG operates the program in conjunction with EPI, a licensed hazardous waste hauler that ships wastes to a variety of out-of-state recycling and disposal locations for proper handling. For a list of participating communities and events and for more information, visit or call AVCOG at 783-9186.

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