By Beth David, Editor
Cars lined up along Route 6 all the way to Stop & Shop early on Saturday morning, 8/6. The big draw was Fairhaven’s Household Hazardous Waste Day, held every other year.
“It’s been crazy,” said Fairhaven Health Agent Patricia Fowle.
The day is a chance for residents to dispose of all manner of nasty old chemicals, oils and mystery substances from basements and sheds.
The items were sorted in the lot behind the public works building on Arsene Street.
Jessie Mattos had a pile of old oil-based paints that he has had around for a “couple of years,” he said.
“It’s great that the town does this,” said Mr. Mattos.
Another resident said he had cleaned out his grandfather’s shop. It had old paint and even some lead additive for paint.
“People used to mix their own pain in the 30s and 40s,” he said.
Most other people had old, harsh cleaners and oils that they just cannot simply throw in the trash. One man had cement hardener.
A couple of people said they drove by at 9 a.m., saw the line, then went off and did other things for a couple of hours, returning when the line was shorter.
According to Jack, a Stericycle employee sorting through the materials, the paints will be incinerated. The burnable oils, such as old motor oil and lamp oil, were being poured into large drums. Jack said they will be sent to a waste-to-energy plant.
“The turnout is overwhelming,” Jack said, adding that the estimates were “way off.”
“This is a great help,” called out one man as he drove by.
The collection of stuff included lamp oil, antifreeze, oil.
Car batteries were not really part of the mix, but John, who works for the town was cheerfully collecting any that showed up and taking them to the recycle center.
“It was a great help,” said Deb Smoske, adding that she kept the ad from the Neighb News on her refrigerator so she would not forget the date. “We didn’t know what we were going to do with it.”
She had a lot of floor refinishing products and cleaning products from moving.
Jake Fleurent showed up with a big barrel that had some old gas in it.
Wayne and Joanne Bretton had a whole pickup truck bed filled with boxes of paints and old chemicals. Low cost generic meds from pharmacy online ship worldwide. They moved into their house 10 years ago and most of that stuff was already in the basement and garage.
“We didn’t know how to get rid of it,” said Ms. Bretton. “I kept everything in a corner. It was awful.”
She said the previous owners “just left everything,” so the HazMat day was “awesome.”
“It’s better than throwing it in the woods,” she said.
Mr. Bretton said there were pesticides, old paints, primers and some mystery liquids.
“Some of it, I’m not even sure of,” he said.
Call the Fairhaven Board of Health at 508-979-4022, Ext. 125, if you need information on disposing of paints and chemicals.