When it comes to protecting the environment, every little bit helps.
That was the case recently in Norwalk at the first organized collection of hazardous waste. A total of 726 vehicles came through the line with various hazardous materials for disposal. The collection netted a total of 66,850 pounds of waste.
Of this amount, 98.3 percent was recyclable. The largest substance was bulk paint, with 49,567 pounds of paint collected during the five hours.
It would be a whole lot easier for people to dump old cans of paint, oil, antifreeze, paint thinner and other hazardous material into the garbage or down the drain. But that's not the smart thing to do. Over the years it all adds up, and eventually we all will be the losers.
"I think the people of Norwalk did themselves proud," Safety-Service Director Dale Sheppard said. "From the numbers, I can see that our residents take recycling very seriously. Most of the material collected could have been disposed of in other ways by our residents, but they weren't. They held on to the paint, thinners, gasoline and oil until a proper disposal method was provided and then they utilized the program."
"The team from Environmental Enterprises Incorporated did a great job for us. I've heard from several residents who told me how helpful and friendly the people from EEI were," Sheppard said. "I didn't even have to get out of my car," said one participant. "All I had to do was open the trunk and they did the rest. This was a really good program."
Norwalk is second to none when it comes to recycling. We recycle our cans, bottles, plastics and paper, while our brush and leaves are turned into mulch. The more we recycle, the less we dump into our landfills.
It takes a little extra work on everyone's part, but the results are worth it. Sheppard said about 12 percent of the households in Norwalk participated, so that means there are still a lot of people who didn't participate.
This is a good start. Let's keep it going.