This spring, two large collection events were held to help rid Centre County of unwanted waste: Watershed Cleanup Day and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event.
ClearWater Conservancy’s Watershed Cleanup Day was held on Saturday, April 22. During this year’s event, more than 600 volunteers were able to properly dispose of more than 76,000 pounds of trash from roadsides, parks, streams and sinkholes. This total included more than 48,900 pounds of assorted trash, 17,240 pounds of scrap metal and 10,120 pounds of tires. The collections bring the project total to more than 6.16 million pounds of waste removed from the landscape since 1997. Still, we would rather not need this annual event, preferring instead that the trash, scrap metal and tires be properly disposed or recycled throughout the year.
To assist the Conservancy’s efforts, 10 employees from the CCRRA volunteered their time to clean up an illegal dump site in the county. In the span of three hours, the CCRRA group picked up 20 tires, 1.4 tons of metal and a whole lot of trash to make an unsightly area clean again.
In addition to the CCRRA group of 10, one of our employees took her Boot Scootin’ Riders 4-H Club to three locations in Howard for a cleanup. In total, the 4-H Club of youngsters picked up 940 pounds of trash, six tires and two TV picture tubes.
More than 550 tires were picked up at various sites during Watershed Cleanup Day. Illegally disposed tires can pose a huge problem to our environment and health and should be recycled. All Centre County residents have the option to bring tires to the CCRRA for a minimal charge — $15 for the first 440 pounds (the average passenger car tire weighs about 22 pounds).
The second springtime collection, our annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, also proved a success. Folks from 1,066 households took advantage of this special collection, which was held on April 28-29, at the CCRRA on Transfer Road in Bellefonte.
Residents in more than 1,000 vehicles stopped by that weekend to properly dispose of old chemicals, pesticides, oil-based paint, mercury and mercury containing items, old CFL bulbs and all sorts of hazardous materials from their households. Nearly 64,000 pounds of material were collected during the two-day event. Collection and disposal costs will be split between the Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste Fund, the Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
This year we partnered with Weis Markets to collect food for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Each resident who brought a food donation to our event received a limited edition Earth Day tote bag as well as a $5 coupon to Weis Markets. Collectively, we filled six barrels for the food bank.
If you missed the household hazardous waste collection this spring, we are already planning our 2018 event. In the meantime, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about proper disposal or recycling.
Thanks to all who were able to participate in these helpful spring collections. And as always, thank you for recycling!
Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. Contact her at aschirf@centrecounty recycles.org.