A safe hazardous waste clean-up

  • John Santana<br>Mill Creek Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:39am

For Larry Anderson, the timing was perfect.

The 12-year Mill Creek resident was moving this past Saturday, May 14, and was cleaning out his garage of all kinds of old items. His plan was to properly dispose of several old paint cans.

“I had gone (online) to see where they take it, and I noticed they were doing the drop today,” Anderson said.

Anderson was one of nearly 500 Mill Creek area residents who brought old household hazardous waste to city hall May 14 to a household hazardous waste round-up. The event was a joint function of the Snohomish County Solid Waste Division and the city of Mill Creek.

People were able to dispose of a variety of items free of charge at the event. Among the things residents got rid of were paint, automotive and household chemicals, propane tanks and car batteries. People could also dispose of old household electronics, for a fee, to a private company, Seattle-based Total Reclaim, Inc.

Mill Creek resident Bill Durham showed up at the event with more than 10 cans of old paint.

“I’ve had these 20-plus years,” he said.

All told, the final take was impressive. Approximately 28,000 pounds of household wastes were disposed of, 90 percent of which can be recycled, according to the county’s solid waste division.

“That’s all stuff that didn’t hit landfills,” said City Council member Donna Michelson, who helped bring the six-hour event to Mill Creek.

Tracy Waxham of the solid waste division said Saturday’s event was one of the busier one’s she’s worked, adding that it seemed odd, since the Everett solid waste disposal center is approximately 15 minutes away from Mill Creek.

In addition to the solid waste division’s take, Total Reclaim received 85 computer monitors, 59 computer hard drives, 72 televisions, and 1,750 pounds of other home electronics for recycling. Within the first two hours of the event, Total Reclaim had four large containers filled with old computer equipment. In addition, several older televisions were stacked near the company’s hauling truck.

“It’s not uncommon at these events,” said Total Reclaim’s Les Sleeman.

Even though an average of 81 cars per hour came by city hall for the event, customers were in-and-out within a matter of minutes, and traffic only backed up on Main Street shortly before the event officially opened at 9 a.m.

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