A regular collection for paint and pesticides will once again get under way this year, starting Wednesday from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Stackpole Complex in St. Marys. Area residents utilizing the collection are asked to first stop at the Community Recycling Center to inform volunteers that they have material to drop off.
Elk County Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator Bekki Titchner explained that this is necessary because, for the time being, paint and pesticides will still need to be dropped off near the electronics recycling location, which is where the material was collected last year.
"What we're trying to do is get approval from the state to collect it next door [to the Community Recycling Center], where we store all our baled material. That way we can be right here and if we have a collection, say every Wednesday, people can just stop here if they have stuff and we just have to walk next door. As it now stands, we're going all the way over there so we're back and forth between buildings," Titchner said.
She indicated that, as of yet, she has not received approval from DEP to move the collection location, which is why material must still be collected by the electronics site.
"I'm hoping that in the near future we'll get approval for this site to just drop stuff off. Everything will still get stored where it has originally been stored, we just want to collect here and then transport at the end of the day," Titchner said.
Dropping the material off during the designated collection time is particularly important because only certain individuals are certified to handle it.
As far as what materials are accepted during the collection, Titchner indicated that the most frequently asked questions are about the disposal of paint.
"I think the biggest question we get is the latex versus oil. If somewhere on the can it says you can clean up with soap and water it means it's latex paint. Latex paint is not considered toxic and it can either be dried outside if there's not a lot left in the container, or mixed with kitty litter or sawdust, something to dry it out, and it can be put in the regular garbage," Titchner said.
Oil-based paints, on the other hand, may be disposed of at the collection.