County rounding up agricultural, household hazardous waste
Rocky View County held the first of several household hazardous waste (HHW) roundup days on May 23 near Cochrane.
The roundup was held at the Scott Lake Transfer Site, located at the junction of Highway 1 and Highway 68 southwest of Cochrane, and will serve as the first in a series of 11 similar days from now until the end of September.
“The County provides this service so our residents have an opportunity to properly dispose of their household chemicals, so as not to be detrimental to the environment,” said County Solid Waste and Recycling Officer Joanne Walroth, noting that more residents are utilizing the service.
“Now that they know they can, we are getting busier every year.”
Materials that will be accepted at the roundup days include empty pesticide containers, tires, electronic waste such as computers and televisions, wire, agricultural plastics, paint and household hazardous waste such as bleach, abrasive cleaners, wax or polish, fabric softener, glass cleaner, lighter fluid, pool chemicals, weed killers, fungicides, kerosene and liquid cleansers.
Household hazardous wastes include any flammable, corrosive, explosive or toxic solid or liquid materials, which display warning symbols.
“A lot of people leave large stockpiles behind in garages when they move, and when new people move in, they are completely unaware of what to do with it,” said Walroth.
“If you leave these materials lying around the home, kids have more access and can get hold of them and get hurt. If you’re not sure what it is or you don’t need it anymore, bring it to one of our sites and we’ll deal with it accordingly.”
Walroth said it is important not to simply pour such materials down the drain or toss them in the garbage, as they could negatively impact the environment.
“Once it’s in the garbage, it can leech into any moisture in the garbage and cause problems. Landfills aren’t bullet proof and at some point, things will leak,” she said.
“The Province has a program to properly dispose of these materials. Our process recycles everything that can possibly be recycled and the rest goes to Swan Hills (Waste Treatment Centre in northern Alberta) for proper incineration.”
She said it is also important for farmers to know they can bring obsolete pesticides and agricultural waste to the roundups, as long as they are a small-scale family operation.
The service is made possible partly through the County’s partnership with CleanFARMS, which covers the cost of disposal of obsolete pesticides and empty pesticide containers.
Walroth said in addition to the facilities that will be offering waste roundup days this summer, the County’s waste transfer sites in Bragg Creek, Langdon, Irricana and Cochrane offer year-round HHW and agricultural waste disposal.
Other facilities that will dispose of such materials on specified dates include: Jumping Pound Community Hall on June 20, Crossfield Viterra Grain Facility on July 11, Balzac United Church on July 25, Weedon Pioneer Hall on Aug. 1, Bottrel General Store on Aug. 8, Bearspaw Lifestyles Centre on Sept. 5, Madden Transfer Site on Sept. 12, Delacour Community Hall on Sept. 19, and Elbow Valley Firehall on Sept. 22.
“If you’re not sure what is in a container, let one of our site attendants know so we can store and dispose of materials properly and it is not dangerous to our staff or the public,” said Walroth.
For more information on household hazardous wastes and collection dates, visit www.rockyview.ca or contact the County’s Solid Waste and Recycling department at 403-520-6378.