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Chambersburg gets curbside hazardous waste pickup

March 12, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Earth Day next month will usher in a new program for Franklin County residents with free curbside pickup of household hazardous wastes.

"Before, we had two drop-off sites in the county and it was kind of a one-day event," County Environmental Planner Robert A. Meredith said Thursday.

The new program will allow residents to dispose of paint, solvents, pesticides, used motor oil and other wastes in special containers that will be picked up at their homes.

The County Commissioners on Thursday opened up the one bid received for the program from Curbside Inc. of Orange, Calif. The company has a regional office in Cordova, Md., and runs the only similar program in Pennsylvania.

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"Part of the intent is to keep this stuff out of the landfills," Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said.

Commissioner Cheryl Plummer said it might also help keep those wastes from being dumped down drains and possibly making their way into the environment.

The commissioners likely will vote next Tuesday to approve the proposal, which is not to exceed $47,500. The one-year contract would begin after Earth Day on April 18, according to Senior Planner Sherri Clayton.

Meredith told the commissioners about half the collection costs can be recouped through Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grants. The balance can be funded through tipping fees that landfills pay to the county, he said.

Clayton said the bid was based on serving up to 10 percent of the households in the county, or about 4,700 homes. The wastes would be collected as long as the budgeted funds last.

That would be a big jump over the county's previous efforts to collect household hazardous wastes, Clayton said. That program began in 1992 with residents being able to drop wastes one day a year at a site in Chambersburg. It was later expanded to include a site in Waynesboro, Pa.

Clayton said about 350, or less than 1 percent, of households participated in that program last year.

Meredith said Curbside Inc. will provide a toll-free number that residents can call to get a special hazardous waste container delivered to their home. The company would then tell them what day the wastes would be picked up.

Explosives and radioactive materials are excluded from the list of materials the company will collect, according to Meredith. Explosives includes such things as ammunition and empty propane canisters.

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