With a virtual army of employees on hand to take the drop offs, Escalon Community Center was the site for a free household hazardous waste collection on Saturday.
The program, run through Onsite Electronic Recycling in a cooperative effort with San Joaquin County solid waste and county communities, the household hazardous waste collection was open to all residents of San Joaquin County.
Only residential material was accepted; businesses had to call ahead and make an appointment to drop off the hazardous materials for a fee. The drop off was free for residential customers.
Accepted materials at the ‘drive through’ disposal set up behind the community center on Escalon Avenue were chemical cleaners, used oils, paints, pool chemicals, garden products, automotive products and more. Electronic waste was also accepted, from computers to monitors, old TVs and radios, VCRs, telephones and the like. Universal waste such as batteries, florescent light bulbs and devices containing mercury were accepted at the site as well.
Motorists came in to the community center and had to follow a pre-designated route to the collection site, with crews there ready to offload the items. They were separated depending on the type of waste, for later removal from the Escalon area.
Along with the scheduled household hazardous waste collection, the county’s recycling program works with the City of Escalon on providing drop-off locations for Escalon residents.
There is free paint recycling at Strand’s Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware, while batteries can be recycled at Escalon City Hall, Escalon Library and the Escalon Unified School District.
Onsite Electronics Recycling also contracts with the city to host four collection days throughout the year, two on Saturdays and two on Sundays. On those days, electronics can be brought to the community center and disposed of free of charge. The first of 2015 was hosted on Jan. 10 and they are offered once a quarter. The next will be Sunday, April 12 with additional dates including July 18 and Oct. 11.
The collection open to county residents this past Saturday ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and crews stayed steadily busy.
Elisa Moberly, who was on scene Saturday overseeing the collection, said not all the data had been tallied up yet regarding how many tons of items were collected but she was pleased with the overall day.
“It was very successful, about 130 vehicles,” Moberly said.
She added that she was “a little worried” when an Escalon fire truck arrived on the scene, but was relieved to find out they were just recycling an old television.