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Blue dye appears again at recycling center

July 09, 2010|By DANA BROWN
  • Mike Christopher
File photo,

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- For the second time in a little more than two weeks, the same container tainted with residue of a chemical dye showed up at the Washington Township (Pa.) Recycling Center.

This second incident prompted Washington Township Manager Mike Christopher to issue a verbal ban to Chambersburg Waste Paper Co., the company that delivered the container both times.

A follow-up letter will be sent to the company informing them they no longer can haul recyclable materials to the municipality's recycling facility off Pa. 16 in the Beartown, Pa., area, Christopher said.

The container, which arrived again at the recycling center Wednesday afternoon, was identified by transfer station employees as the same one that contained the chemical dye -- Pylam Turquoise LX 6060 -- that spilled June 22, Christopher said.

He said a Chambersburg Waste Paper employee thought at first the dye residue was rust until one of the recycling center employees "poured water on it and it turned bright blue."

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"There was more of that bad-boy stuff in there," Christopher said.

The container, which arrived with other residential recyclable materials, was isolated, Christopher said. The chemical did not make it into the facility's main line and no employees came into contact with the chemical, he said.

Three employees of Chambersburg Waste Paper arrived at about 1 p.m. and neutralized the chemical and decontaminated the area around the spill in about an hour and a half, Christopher said.

He commended them for responding immediately and for their cooperation.

During the first incident in June, nine employees of the recycling center were treated for exposure to the chemical. The seven men and two women were decontaminated at the facility and taken to Waynesboro Hospital for a second round of decontamination.

Christopher said no more materials will be accepted from Chambersburg Waste Paper, although he remains open to future discussions with them about allowing their residential recyclable materials that are collected curbside if the company can guarantee it is only residential waste.

Kelly Adams, president of Chambersburg Waste Paper Co., said being banned from using the Washington Township Recycling Center will not affect the company's operations because there are other recycling stations to use.

Adams said the bin containing the chemical residue originally came from a parking lot at Shippensburg (Pa.) University in Shippensburg, where the bin was placed as a service to area residents for disposal of recyclable materials.

"Unfortunately, someone took advantage of that," Adams said, adding that people need to know what materials can and cannot be recycled and be accountable for what they dispose of in the bins.

"It could have a big impact on the environment and people who touch it," Adams said.

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