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Thousands attend waste disposal event

Event offers safe way to dump hazardous materials

Posted: April 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Hazardous waste technicians unload cans of old paint from a truck, which joined hundreds of other vehicles in line to drop off hazardous waste materials and electronic waste for recycling in the upper parking lot of College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Photos by Dan Watson.

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Thousands of people hauled obsolete electronics, unneeded paint and flammable liquids to College of the Canyons on Saturday to take part in an event meant to rid them of the household materials considered too dangerous to go into the normal trash.

Saturday’s event is part of the free Countywide Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Roundup Program, was presented by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in partnership with county Sanitation Districts and in cooperation with the city of Santa Clarita.

The event is meant to provide a safe way to dispose of common hazardous household materials, such as car batteries, paint, pesticides, syringes, fluorescent light bulbs and unwanted electronics.

“We get about almost 80,000 pounds worth of latex paint which gets recycled,” said Eric Brown, a project manager with Clean Harbors Environmental Services, a waste disposal firm. “We also get a lot of flammable liquids, electronic waste.”

Workers donned protective suits and gloves to help unload a steady stream of cars that wound through the COC parking lot.

Those waiting in line recited a laundry list of materials they were bringing for disposal, ranging from old computers to a old medicine bottles.

“Santa Clarita does an awesome job showing their participation,” Brown said. “It’s great, and we really enjoy being out here.”

The reason why such materials can’t simply be dumped into the trash or down the drain is because they can pollute the environment, according to officials.

There are more than 50 such disposal events that are held throughout the county on an annual basis, including in Santa Clarita every year. Officials said the events are meant to increase awareness of how to properly dispose of some common household hazardous items, as well as provide an opportunity to do so.

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