By Lucie Roy
Morinville – The bi-annual household hazardous waste round-up held Oct. 15 at the Sturgeon County Centre parking lot was a success. Quentin Bochar, Manager Agricultural Services, was one of four Sturgeon County employees working at the site. He said they had approximately 170 vehicles go through and collected twelve containers (2 ½ tons) of TVs and computers. There were 6,000 litres of toxic liquids, which includes items such as motor oil, household cleaners, herbicides and 5,000 litres of paint, equivalent to about nine of the big containers they collected them in. There were more than sixty propane tanks. Michelle Lutz, Angela Veenstra, David Hill and Quentin Bochar of Sturgeon County and two Town of Morinville employees were kept busy from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. serving residents of Sturgeon County, Morinville and a few from St Albert and Legal.
The event was an opportunity for residents to get rid of unwanted hazardous items from the home, garage, yard and sheds. The service is free because rather than having all that stuff ending up in the garbage where tit is not wanted, residents can bring it to the roundup. There are numerous programs in place, including the one for old electronics. Alberta has a recycling program for them in Airdrie called E-Cycle Solutions where the computers and TVs are broken down into different components and those components are sold into the recycled product market. When the individual parts are broken down they have everything from gold to scrap steel and the computer chips that are also of value. The acceptable e-waste includes TVs, computer monitors, laptops, notebooks, printers, computer mice, keyboards, cables and speakers.
For safety reasons, when they collect paint at the round-up, and for identification purposes, they prefer to have all materials in their original containers. If the container is in bad shape, it is to be placed it in a leak-proof package and labeled. Bochar said the collection of paint is also part of a provincial stewardship program. Latex paint is recycled and then turned into new paint that can then be purchased at some hardware stores, while oil based paint is used as fuel to create electricity. They also provided handouts from Alberta Recycling about the paint, accepted household paint and not accepted materials. Unacceptable include colourants and tints, non-aerosol craft and artist paint, solvents, thinners and mineral spirits. More information can be found on the Sturgeon County website, including a detailed list of acceptable materials.