Jbrannon – Hazardous waste collection

Jim Brannon and Jim Brannon

The County of Los Angeles Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Collection Program organized at Cerritos College for a free mobile collection from residents on July 9.

The C-1 parking lot was expected to see approximately 2,000 vehicles that separated into designated lanes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., leading into eight workstations that serviced multiple cars at a time.

Workers removed all waste from each car without the residents’ assistance, making the collection fast and safe.

A secondary site collecting waste at Artesia Park was in operation from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

However, hazardous waste was dropped off far from both collection sites, instead placed in front of the Social Science building along the green fencing in place during Cerritos’ ongoing construction.

“That would be considered illegal dumping of hazardous waste,” said William Moreno, who works with the Environmental Programs Division for the Department of Public Works.

“Other than that, we have an excellent turnout.”

The event officially collected 1,901 loads of waste from 1,685 vehicles, according to Moreno.

Electronic waste (E-waste), dangerous chemical products and household batteries were among the items being collected.

Operations Manager Stephen Eckert, who has managed residential waste events for 15 years, said that they would probably recycle 300,000 pounds of waste at the event, and household batteries alone would likely total 20,000 pounds.

Depending on the amount collected, he said that they would be able to recycle up to 70 to 80 percent of waste, while all pesticides cannot be recycled and must be incinerated.

Eckert said that although they’ve noticed increased participation they still aren’t at the level that they should be, as they expect around 20 to 30 percent growth every year.

“We just have to get people educated to know that this is the proper way to do it,” he said, “not to put it in a trash can.”