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Record-high waste collected at 2013 Fall Clean Sweep

Participation numbers were up and collection numbers represented a record-high when the past fall’s Pierce County Clean Sweep was held at the county’s recycling center in Ellsworth, compared to a year earlier.

The event, also a pharmaceutical collection, was attended by 352 vehicles, an increase of 58 vehicles from the 294 vehicles at Pierce’s 2012 fall Clean Sweep, according to a report from the solid waste department. The county contracted with Veolia Environmental Services, which collected the record-high 38,767 pounds of total combined waste on Sept. 21, an increase of 7,189 pounds from the 31,578 pounds collected in the fall of ’12.

All 352 vehicles were surveyed this past fall, showing 88 delivered waste from more than one source (home, farm and business), and six made multiple trips. The vehicles delivered waste from a total of 440 sources, including 369 households, 49 farms (30 active and 12 abandoned), and 22 businesses (six of these delivered hazardous waste). Sixteen of the businesses delivered latex paint and/or non-chemical waste stream items.

The average weight of waste delivered/collected per vehicle was 90 pounds, a decrease of 17 pounds from the 107 pounds collected per vehicle a year earlier.

The record-high 16,700 pounds of hazardous waste in the fall of ’13 were collected from 369 households, an increase of 4,574 pounds from the 12,126 pounds collected at the previous year’s fall event. The average weight of waste collected per household was 45 pounds. Some of the most notable household hazardous waste collected was the 9,328 pounds of lead/oil paint, 4,718 pounds of pesticides and poisons, 1,182 pounds of aerosol cans, 490 pounds of caustics and corrosives, 974 pounds of solvents and thinners, 35 pounds of reactives, five pounds of mercury and four pounds of dioxins.

A total of 5,226 pounds of agricultural hazardous waste were collected from the 49 farms, an increase of 4,374 pounds from the 852 pounds collected in the fall of ’12. The average weight of hazardous waste collected per farm was 107 pounds. Some of the most notable agricultural hazardous waste collected was 20 pounds of Captan (fungicide), 15 pounds of Endrin (insecticide and rodenticide), 15 pounds of Lindane (pesticide) and 10 pounds of Aldrin (insecticide).

For more please read the January 15 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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