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OUR VIEW - Hazardous waste pickup not a waste

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Sometimes taxpayers just don't like how the government spends our tax dollars. We can always think of a better way we could spend that money if only it was in our own pocket. That's the idea behind most tax breaks.

However, we would be hard pressed to find a better way for the city of Norwalk to spend $25,000 than a hazardous waste pickup day in the city, which is something the city is investigating.

Before you say, "Hey I don't have any hazardous waste," consider that all of the following qualify as hazardous waste: paint, pesticides, fertilizers, pool chemicals, propane, resins, glues and adhesives, smoke detectors, pharmaceuticals, batteries, fluorescent lamps and bulbs, aerosols, fire extinguishers, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and mercury articles.

Norwalk's sanitation department does not have the resources, training or licensing to pickup that hazardous waste. So, often, it sits in residents' basements or garages. The city is investigating if it could fund the pickup and we hope they find a way. Be it through a grant, the general fund, sanitation fund or by charging a nominal fee to those residents who take advantage of the program, this pickup would provide a real, concrete service for residents.

Not only is it good for citizens, but it is good for the city. By having such a pickup, the city would be able to prove to the Environmental Protection Agency that these materials are not finding their way into the city's water supply.

The only regret we have is that this program would not be county-wide. The commissioners said they already have grant money put away for a tire recycling program this year. In addition, they said a county-wide program would be "cost prohibitive."

We urge the county, when planning for recycling programs in the future, to see if it would not serve more residents to partner with the cities and townships and find grant funding or alternative revenues to do a county-wide hazardous waste program.

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