Residents help out during the Toxic Roundup

Cleaning up household waste never looked as easy as it did during Ponoka’s Toxic Roundup last weekend.

Walter Pineda of Clean Harbours gives Gordon Cheney a hand during the Toxic Roundup Sept. 14.

Cleaning up household waste never looked as easy as it did during Ponoka’s Toxic Roundup last weekend.

More than 15 volunteers came to support the Ponoka Fire Department’s annual toxic goods collection Sept. 14 where paint, batteries, solvents and other household chemicals were separated and prepared for handling. Clean Harbours staff were on hand to help determine how products should be handled.

“It cleans up all the toxic chemicals that shouldn’t go in the garbage,” says Ted Dillon, director of protective services.

He feels Toxic Roundups such as Ponoka’s have a long-term benefit on the earth and residents “do what we can to make the world a better place to live.”

Hours were from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but people started delivering waste at 8 a.m. in anticipation. At about 9:30 a.m. there was a lineup of cars loaded with their household waste eager to drop product off. Dillon usually receives household chemicals throughout the year. Sometimes people will drop off a bag overnight and he was running out of space to store the product before the roundup.

He will still take product but asks those who wish to drop off product to wait for business hours so he can identify the chemicals taken in.

Volunteers who help out at the roundup also get a better understanding of how chemicals are handled, says Donna Noble, fire prevention co-ordinator. “They too also better understand what Toxic Roundup is all about.”

Clean Harbours will also take used motor oil and anti-freeze but there is an additional cost for the pick up. All the old paint cans are drained and stored in a town truck where they will be sent to the landfill. The paint is separated.

“This year’s they’re sorting out the latex paint for recycle,” said Noble.

“It’s great to see the public support and keep all the toxins out of our landfills,” she added.

Support for the roundup came from members of Ponoka’s Green Team as well. Chairperson Maurice Mazurat says volunteering at the roundup was a bit of an education for him and the team. “I’m amazed at how much paint that comes in.”

He received a call from Dillon asking to help out and jumped at the chance to help. “It’s a good cause.”

Helping at the roundup has given him ideas for future Green Team endeavours.