Waste-collection days may end - OCCA

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Published: September 25, 2009
Waste-collection days may end
By Tom Grace
Cooperstown News Bureau
More vehicles than ever came to Otsego County's household hazardous-waste day Saturday at the Meadows
Office Complex in Middlefield.
Earlier this month, however, the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority board of
directors voted not to fund future household hazardous-waste days.
``We had 740 cars and that's a record, although the volume of material collected was not a record,'' Terry
Bliss, the county's solid-waste coordinator, said Thursday.
Among materials collected were pesticides, lubricants, paint, cleaning chemicals and solvents, including
some flammable and corrosive mixtures, Bliss said.
The waste was packaged and removed by MXI Environmental Services to be disposed of safely.
For the first time, the county collected pharmaceuticals and medications, a service monitored by the state
Department of Environmental Conservation officers, who were aided by the county Sheriff's Department.
According to the Otsego County Planning Department, about 200 pounds of pharmaceuticals were collected
and will be incinerated.
An estimated 60,000 pounds of home electronics, such as computers, was taken in Saturday, an operation
overseen by Edison Computers of Oneonta. The company strips the equipment and recycles recoverable
materials.
About 130 automotive batteries were received by Interstate Battery and 120 obsolete propane- tank
cylinders by Suburban Energy Services.
County residents also provided about 950 gallons of latex paint, which will be re-mixed by Golden Artist
Colors of Columbus and eventually given to local not-for-profit agencies, Bliss said.
The highly successful collection cost about $50,000, an expense largely defrayed by a grant from the state
Department of Environmental Conservation and MOSA.
MOSA is considering a proposal to use its reserve funds to defease its bonds, leaving far less money for
other endeavors.
That may leave Otsego County short on money for next year's pickup.
``We're all set for this year, but we don't know what the future holds,'' Bliss said.
One MOSA board member, Martha Clarvoe of Hartwick, has said that if MOSA is in a position to fund
household hazardous-waste days in the future, the board may vote to do so.
On Thursday, Otsego County Rep. Sam Dubben, R-Middlefield, chairman of the county's Solid Waste and
Environmental Concerns Committee, said he believes the county will continue to offer the annual service,
even without funds from MOSA.
``I think it's too important for us to drop,'' said Dubben. Without a legal and easy way to get rid of toxic
materials, some might be dumped and cause significant damage, he noted.
Agencies interested in obtaining the recycled paint collected last week may call the county Planning
Department at 547-4225.
This year's pharmaceutical collection was aided by the Goodyear Lake Association, Otsego Lake Association,
Otsego County Conservation Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Otsego 2000 and Otsego Land
Trust, according to the county's senior planner, Karen Sullivan.
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