The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will be holding free disposal days at the Clinton Eco-Depot on Saturday, May 12; at the Spences Bridge Transfer Station and the Lytton Eco-Depot on Sunday, May 13; and at the Cache Creek and Loon Lake Transfer Stations and the 70 Mile Eco-Depot on Saturday, May 19.
The TNRD is also holding free Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Round-ups for all TNRD residents in Merritt (Civic Centre parking lot) on Saturday, May 12 and in Kamloops (Mission Flats landfill) on Saturday, June 2.
The free disposal days mean that TNRD residents may bring one free load of material per household to their local eco-depot or transfer station on the event day. A load is defined as a maximum of one eight-foot pick-up truck box or one eight-foot trailer, and residents can save money on materials for which disposal fees are normally charged, such as cooling appliances, tires on rims, mattresses, furniture, demolition/construction waste, scrap metal, wood waste, roofing shingles, and household garbage.
The free load on free disposal days applies to residential customers only. Regular disposal fees apply for all business/commercial loads.
The Household Hazardous Waste Round-ups give residents an opportunity to dispose safely of items that transfer stations do not accept. It’s also a chance to get rid of “mystery items” that homeowners might not know the identity of.
“People should look at what the item is and how is it packaged,” says Adriana Mailloux, environmental services technologist with the TNRD. “If it’s in the original containers, we can take items like household paint, pesticides, and gasoline, if it’s in an approved UCL container. You can’t transfer gas out of the container, but you can get a $6 credit back from the attendant. Other materials should be in the original packaging, with the manufacturer’s label still attached.”
Additional items that can be accepted include flammable liquids; paint thinner and solvents; camp fuels; consumer pesticides; cosmetics, health, and beauty aids; insect repellents; disinfectants; pet products; fertilizer; acids; cleaners, bleach, and other corrosive materials; and anything that is leaking or improperly sealed.
Mailloux adds that many of these items can be dropped year-round, for free, at area eco-depots, and that the HHW round-ups are more geared toward unknown materials.
“Items are often in different containers from what they were originally packaged in, or have labels that have corroded off over the years. You get things that have been in the basement for years, or you move into a new house that might have outbuildings, and you find lots of stuff in sheds and basements. Getting rid of these things makes the property safer.”
Mailloux says that when she moved into her new house she found a cooler left by the previous owner that was filled with “mystery products”: rusted tins sitting in liquid.
“You need to take steps to protect yourself as best you can [when handling these materials]. Use gloves and bags, and put items in boxes for transport. The people at the round-up will have proper protective gear. Never put any hazardous material in your garbage, unless the container is completely empty.”
Mailloux says that the TNRD notices an increase in illegal dumping after there has been an operational change at a transfer-station or eco-depot, or at month end, when people are moving out or have been evicted.
“A common theme is that people don’t care where the stuff goes. They dump it instead of taking it up the road to a transfer station. A lot of dumping sites start with yard waste [which is accepted free of charge at transfer stations]. People think ‘Oh, it will decompose,’ and it seems harmless. Then someone adds some 2-by-4s, then some drywall, and then a couch.
“Dumped material attracts more dumped material, just because someone made a choice not to [take it to a transfer station].”
For more information about the free disposal days, or to inquire about an individual hazardous product, call the TNRD at (250) 377-8673.