Tessa David, Director, MassToss Cooperative and Devens Regional HHW Collection Center, MA
Typically towns host a household hazardous waste collection event once or twice a year. This routine forces home owners to store unwanted harmful products such as pesticides, fertilizers, oil-based paint, auto fluids, etc., for a lengthy period of time before they can safely dispose of it. Improper disposal of these products can threaten the health of children, pets, and the environment. Additionally, annual collections mean long lines, often with a waiting time that exceeds an hour - that is if the date is convenient with the homeowner's schedule. This SWANA Webinar will explore how several communities came together in order to improve HHW collection for both citizens and municipalities through the development of a collection center.
With the opening of the Devens Regional Household Hazardous Products Collection Center, residents of member communities have 20 opportunities per year to properly manage toxic waste such as unused floor cleaners, leftover pool chemicals, and button batteries. The webinar will also discuss how the Collection Center assists businesses that do not create toxic waste in their daily operations or do not exceed DEP's threshold for Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs).
Another advantage of the regional service that will be considered is how it eases municipal budget constraints. Towns spend thousands of dollars to staff annual household hazardous waste collection days and arrange for the disposal of products that require special handling. This facility eliminates the need for municipal staff to field urgent calls for help with disposal of hazardous waste or to retrieve abandoned waste, and is estimated to save each member community an average of $10,000 annually. The infrastructure to support the service was funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Regional service makes it easier for residents to properly dispose of toxic waste, provides additional protection to drinking water supplies, and delivers operational and financial savings to the participating municipalities. Join this event to learn more about how municipalities working together helped make HHW collection more efficient and effective for all.