Fifth annual Clean Up Day sees turnout of over 700 recyclers

Worker stacks monitors for Eviromental Clean-up day at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti on Oct 18.

Stacks of trash were shuttled to Rynearson Stadium parking lot to be properly disposed of by the regional environmental recycling program presented by Washtenaw County on Saturday.

Celebrating the fifth annual Clean Up Day held at Eastern Michigan University, 700-900 recyclers showed up to safely discard their hazardous materials. Items like refrigerators, scrap steel, furniture, carpeting, pesticides, fertilizers, computers and even tires were piled into the parking lot.

“Just about everything, aside from yard waste and business waste [which] we don’t collect,” said Daniel Moody, Washtenaw County Solid Waste Coordinator, who helped oversee the event. “With electronics we usually average about 15-19,000 pounds, about 400 televisions, 22 pallets of computer monitors and keyboards and other peripheral electronics.”

The weight is equivalent to a small garbage truck.

“[We collect] close to 20,000 pounds plus, of home toxics including latex and oil based paints,” Moody said.

According to the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Program Report for 2013, the latex paints are reformulated and sold at many Habitat for Humanity ReStores throughout Michigan for reuse. In 2013 alone, the program collected a total of 56,171 pounds of latex paint has been recycled for reuse.

The report showed the EMU drop-off collected 3.76 tons of traditional waste (furniture and the like), 37,713 pounds of electronic waste and 168 tires last year. Eastern led in car count to other drop off centers, having over 1,407 last year pull into the donation location.

“The suggested $10 helps offset the cost to hold the event,” Moody said. “[This helps] keep the event sustainable so we can continue to have it on an annual basis. We try to get as many citizens to participate as we can.”

Washtenaw County Solid Waste hosts four or five Clean Up Days a year. Locations range from Chelsea, Saline, to Northfield Township and EMU.

If interested in further information about the program, contact The Home Toxics Reduction Program located at the Washtenaw County Western Service Center at 705 N. Zeeb Road. This is also the local drop-off point for all hazardous household waste.

Echo Staffer Nick Parisho contributed to this report

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