From Paint to Cyanide, Hazardous Chemical Collection Coming To South Park

Sep 7, 2015

Workers unload a car at a previous household chemical collection.

Many common chemicals cannot be disposed of in traditional ways, and for that reason, the Pennsylvania Resources Council is hosting a drive-thru chemical collection from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Park Wave Pool parking lot on Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity for homeowners and for people whose living arrangements are going to be changing to get rid of, in a responsible manner, all the nasty stuff they have absolutely no idea what to do with,” said program coordinator Michael Stepaniak.

Attendees are asked to stay in their cars for the drive-thru collection. safety reasons. Disposal costs $3 per gallon.

“Make sure the lids are on tight (and) nothing is leaking. Put them in cardboard boxes,” he said. “Come out to the wave pool, and you will get in line and eventually our contractor, a licensed hazardous waste contractor will unload your vehicle and the folks will be on their way to enjoy the rest of their day.”

Stepaniak said he expects to collect up to 90,000 pounds of hazardous chemicals, which will be divided based on type, with staff on duty to determine which chemicals should be recycled, incinerated or buried in specially designed landfills.

“There are actually a few field chemists that are on site as well at the events to try to identify items, the mystery products that sometimes show up,” he said.

Stepaniak said the most common products they receive are latex and oil-based paints, but they have collected all types of chemicals throughout the years.

“A lot of these products that come in, we shake our heads and wonder, why do you have them and where did they come from?” he said. “We’ve gotten things over the years like strychnine, cyanide, white and yellow phosphorus, and in one instance years ago we got 20 twenty-pound bags of DDT.”

This will be the 82nd collection the PRC has hosted since the first one in 2003.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s a far cry better than people dumping them down storm drains, or burning them or burying them,” he said.