The toxic roundup, held at the Fire Hall Sept. 13, proved once again that folks are eager to properly dispose of their household chemicals.
Since the early 1990s, the roundup has given Ponoka town and county residents a chance to dispose of — or recycle — their household chemicals and old paint, explained Fire Chief Ted Dillon. Items such as batteries, aerosol cans, cleaners and fluorescent bulbs that need to be handled in a safe manner are taken during the roundup that occurs once a year.
Fire prevention co-ordinator Donna Noble says the biggest item received is paint. She enjoys seeing a large number of people coming to this big event.
“It’s great the community is aware of the environment and willing to recycle,” said Noble.
Clean Harbors in Red Deer is hired to handle the different chemicals, and if possible, the company sends latex paint to a recycling company in Calgary. A group out of Maskwacis also attended the toxic roundup to collect cans of paint that could still be used for community clean up projects, said Noble.
The Town of Ponoka and Ponoka County split the cost of hiring Clean Harbors to come and collect these items. Noble says there is a greater awareness from residents on environmental concerns. “Kudos to the residents for supporting the roundup and keeping the chemicals out of the landfill.”
A popular addition to the roundup was the recent involvement of Paper Cuts, a mobile paper shredding company. Many residents made use of the company’s services to shred old confidential documents.
“It’s very much appreciated in the community. It’s never gotten any smaller,” explained Dillon of the roundup.
A small group of volunteers including firefighters and residents helped crews sort through material brought in.