Keeping Sussex County safe

Free hazardous waste collection day

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  • Photos by John Church Pallet loads of household hazardous waste.

  • Cart full of household hazardous waste.

“Cleaning solutions, solvents, bleach, pesticides, oil-based paints and stains. We all have them in our homes.”
— Recycling Coordinator Reenee Casapulla

Sussex County is a little safer after a steady stream of residents dropped off their household hazardous waste during the free collection event at the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority facility in Lafayette Saturday.

“If residents do not have a place to dispose of household hazardous waste properly they throw them in the garbage,” said Reenee Casapulla, SCMUA Recycling Coordinator. “It gets into the landfill and causes all kinds of problems.”

Nothing unusual of dangerous chemicals were collected during this event.

“Standard household stuff,” said Hugo Ramos with Clean Venture Incorporated based in Elizabeth, N.J. “Just the usual pool chemicals and pesticides.”

The county Haz Mat team was on standby to handle any dangerous chemicals and contain any spills. In previous years residents brought in chemicals the commercial recycler could not handle, such as potentially explosive crystalized ether, jars of liquid mercury and military surplus diving equipment containing an oxygen generator canister.

A steady stream of vehicles kept the SCMUA and Clean Venture staff busy. By 11:45 a.m. they collected waste from 635 residents.

Kathy Vanderbeck of Vernon took advantage of the free event.

“I have paints and pool chemicals,” Vanderbeck said.

Casapulla said the facility accepts up to five gallons motor oil and antifreeze per person for free all year around. The facility also collects rechargeable batteries, worn out American flags and cell phones, all for no charge. There is a per pound fee to recycle mixed rigid plastic, Tupperware, laundry baskets, patio furniture and Little Tikes plastic playhouses and single use propane cylinders.

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