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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tox Away collections almost double for annual clean up

Monday, May 8, 2006

More than 550 cars and trucks streamed into the Putnam County Fairgrounds Saturday to fill dumpsters with tires, appliances and even a 30-pound adding machine at Tox Away Day.

For the West Central Solid Waste District (WCSWD) staff, and volunteers from Greencastle High School, Greencastle Civic League and the community, it may have seemed the vehicles would never stop coming.

"We had to have them form double lines to keep off of the road," WCSWD Director Jane Collisi said of the traffic into the fairgrounds. "They wrapped all the way around the fairgrounds."

Collisi said there were approximately 230 more vehicles waiting to drop off waste this year than in 2005. She attributed Saturday's successful turnout to additional advertising leading up to the event, as well as the day's blue skies and ideal temperatures.

"Last year it rained, but this year we had a little bit more of a turnout because of the weather," she said.

Civic League co-chair of the event Kim Vickrey agreed.

"I couldn't ask for a more beautiful day," she said. "The weather was perfect."

Items frequently collected throughout the day included major appliances such as freezers, air conditioners, microwaves and washers and dryers.

"There were a lot of appliances," Collisi said. "It is because we accept them at a discounted rate. Normally it costs about $30, but (Saturday) we took them for $10."

A few unique technology items were also collected.

"We had several couches and chairs," Vickrey said. "There were a lot of TVs, the old console kind. We had this one really old TV and it had a reel system on it."

Other oddities included an assortment of metal pieces and an archaic calculator.

"We had a really old adding machine, a square one, it was heavy, I think it weighed about 30 pounds," she added.

Although statistics are not yet available about how many items were accepted, Collisi said tires were of the most collected types of waste.

"There are always a lot of tires," she said. "It is always a huge thing, a lot of times from people cleaning out ditches."

Vickrey said she noticed a lot of tires had been accepted as well.

"I don't know how many tires there were," she said. After the truck of tires had gone, there were tires all over the ground. We had to get another semi for them."

Only a few items were turned away, including lawn mowers with oil and gas still in them.

Another item many people brought to Tox Away Day was paint. However Collisi said latex paint is not toxic.

She explained people can simply let it dry and throw it away.

Vickrey said from before 8 a.m. when the event started to 1 p.m. when Tox Away Day closed, cars continued to line up at the Fairgrounds.

"It seems like normally there is a lull in the middle part of the day," she said of the annual program. "But there were no lulls that day."

Most people waited patiently while waiting to visit the five drop off stations at the event, Collisi said, and as is in many of the past 10 years' Tox Away Days the biggest complaint was that it only comes once a year.

"I don't think most people realize how expensive it is to dispose of the waste," she said. "Each event costs (more than) $20,000. We have four counties in our district which means we have to budget at least $80,000 each year."

The West Central Solid Waste District also includes Parke, Montgomery and Morgan counties.

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