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Ag, business waste up, total down at Clean Sweep

The amounts of agricultural hazardous waste and business waste increased, but the overall total combined waste decreased in comparison to a year ago at this spring’s Pierce County Clean Sweep.

The total combined waste collected at the April 20 event was 32,273 pounds, down by 3,328 pounds from the previous year’s record-high of 35,601 pounds, according to a report from the county’s solid waste department. The county again contracted with Veolia Environmental Services for identifying, collecting, packaging, transporting and safely disposing of all the hazardous waste collected.

Temperatures during the event were cooler than normal for the time of the year. Three-hundred-thirteen vehicles attended, a decrease of 84 vehicles from the 397 total vehicles at the 2012 spring Clean Sweep. The average weight of waste delivered and collected per vehicle this time was 103 pounds, an increase of 13 pounds from the previous year’s spring event.

This spring, a total of 11,768 pounds of hazardous waste was collected from 303 households, a decrease of 3,168 pounds from the spring of ’12. The average weight of the latest waste collected per household was 39 pounds. Some of the most notable household hazardous waste most recently collected was 7,123 pounds of lead/oil paint, 2,417 pounds of pesticides and poisons, 803 pounds of aerosol cans, 711 pounds of caustics and corrosives, 518 pounds of solvents and thinners, 178 pounds of reactives, 11 pounds of mercury and seven pounds of dioxins.

On the plus side, a total of 1,945 pounds of agricultural hazardous waste was collected this time from 35 farms, an increase of 496 pounds over the 1,449 pounds of a year earlier. The average weight of hazardous waste collected per farm was 56 pounds, compared to 34 pounds in the spring of ‘12. Some of the most notable agricultural hazardous waste collected in the latest round was 45 pounds of 2, 4-D, 50 pound of Captan (Fungicide) and 30 pounds of Toxaphene (insecticide). All of these chemicals are on the Targeted/Suspended and Cancelled Chemical list.

Also to the positive was the total of 7,458 pounds of waste collected from a record-high nine Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG)/Businesses this spring, an increase of 6,612 pounds over the 846 pounds from the spring of ’12.

For more please read the August 14 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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