Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day
Saturday, August 17, 2024

HHW Continues to Be Successful

The HHW collection has continued to be successful since the initial year of the program in 2007.  A total of 89,000 pounds of waste was collected by the tri-county group in 2023.  

On August 17th, the cars lined up along Bean Street and US-10 in Scottville to await their chance to dispose of hazardous household materials safely. A total of 272 cars came through the line, bringing materials from 317 households. After the early morning rush, the event ran at a steady pace. Since 2007 just over 4720 cars and 5400 households have come to HHW day to dispose of their hazardous waste.

The Conservation District works with two different contractors to safely dispose of electronics and hazardous materials. This year, that included Bay Area Recycling for Community (BARC) and ERG Environmental, respectively. In addition, a local farm takes most of the used motor oil every year to reuse for heating fuel, which saves thousands of dollars in disposal costs for the collection day and fuel costs for the farm. This year, the farm received 620 gallons, which will meet half of their heating needs for the year!

The contracting companies generally can take a month or more to process all of the material and report back with a categorized list of weight per material accepted. Results were hot off the press in late September, just in time to get information into Currents. Mason County alone took in over 37,000 pounds of material! To put it in perspective, that is enough hazardous material and electronics to amount to the weight of about 19 pontoon boats! This year, the bulk of the materials consisted of toxic household materials (such as acidic or basic cleaners, oxidizers, fire extinguishers, and fluorescent bulbs), automotive fluids, and electronics. Across the 3-county group of Manistee, Mason, and Oceana that collaboratively host this collection event, our current count is 89,00 pounds! Final costs were about $70,000 for the 3-county Committee. Counties, Townships, Community Foundation, Oceana County Farm Bureau, private donors, and partner groups all chip in to cover the costs of the collection day. Major partners include AFFEW, Hamlin Lake Preservation Society, Fin and Feather Club of Mason County, Little Manistee Watershed and Pere Marquette Watershed Council.

Many thanks also go out to all those that participated and volunteered at the event. It would not be possible without Mason County Road Commission hosting, Mason County Sheriff's Office for helping at multiple stations and bringing Trustees for heavy lifting, as well as the dedicated volunteers who put in over 137 work hours in one day to make the event possible. Thank you for helping us to safely dispose of hazardous materials and keep them out of our waterways and environment!