A Tidy Operation: Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach Parking Lot

hazardous waste disposal day

Sally Davies of the Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board (GRAB), Nichole Tomczyk, DPW employee who works at Holly Hill, and Patrick Collins, the Environmental Operations Manager at Holly Hill. Credit: Leslie Yager

The Island Beach parking lot was a fitting venue for Greenwich’s hazardous waste disposal event on Saturday. In the past the event was held at Greenwich High School, where streams of cars full of hazardous waste co-mingled with teens arriving for play practice and the annual cheerleader’s plant sale, creating a bit of traffic.

“This worked out really well,” said Environmental Operations Manager at Holly Hill, Patrick Collins of the change of location for the event. “There’s less traffic. The layout here means there’s no tie up on the roads.”

Indeed, even when a queue would form, it was all within the Island Beach lot, and not on Arch Street.

“We’re seeing a lot of old pesticides, fertilizer, cleaning chemicals and old oil-based paints,” Collins said, adding that they still don’t take cans of late paint. “Maybe next year,” he added.

hazardous waste

Also new this year was the vendor, Clean Harbors, out of Bristol, CT, who specialize in hazardous waste disposal. “They follow every protocol,” Collins said as a dozen or so men and women in white haz-mat suits unloaded trunks from each car that pulled onto their plastic sheet over the asphalt.

“It’s all free for residents,” said Collins. A beach sticker or Holly Hill sticker were all that was needed. For any resident without a sticker, they just showed their driver’s license. Still, residents from nearby towns in this corner of Fairfield Country were allowed to dispose of their hazardous materials. “We put a pink slip on their windshield and we charge their town,” Collins explained, referring to the reciprocal arrangement Greenwich has with neighboring towns.

gasoline

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

Many cars arrived with the familiar red plastic gas containers, which were carefully poured out by worker in goggles and a respirator. “People can dilute the oil in these containers with fresh gas,” Collins said.

“Unless it’s been left outside collecting condensation, if you have an old gallon of gas sitting around, you can use it up.”

Collins said people with generators like to run them every once in a while, and can use up the old gas for that task.

emptying cars

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

gasoline

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

haz waste disposal

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

hazardous waste day

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

latex paint

Residents were able to drop off oil based paint at hazardous waste disposal day on Saturday, but not latex paint. Credit: Leslie Yager

plastic on the ground

At Hazardous Waste Disposal Day in the Island Beach parking lot, dozens of workers in protective gear unloaded hazardous materials from residents’ cars and prepared them for safe disposal. Credit: Leslie Yager

See also: PHOTOS: Holly Hill Tour Starts with Doug Francefort


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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