Waste Disposal Needs Outgrew Existing Program
“Dating back to 1993, residents have had the opportunity to participate in Tox-Away Day, an annual event held on the second Saturday in September. The one day a year program allowed residents to properly and safely dispose of their hazardous waste products. Veolia workers came from Chicago, Ohio, and Detroit just to work at our event.
“That event began at 9:00 am, with vehicles lined up as early as 7:00 am, and ended at 2:30 pm. Once the line opened, residents followed pylons through the different stages of the event, including registration, vehicle assessment, and the offloading area. Due to tremendous community support and demand for this service, residents have waited in line from 20 minutes to two hours to unload their material. Last year, over 1,000 households brought in more than 42,000 pounds of HHW material during the 5½ hour event.
“It was obvious that there was a demand for additional household hazardous waste disposal services. Earlier this year, the Allen County Commissioners allowed me the opportunity to meet the demands of the community and expand this needed service.”
Veolia Helped Implement a Weekly Waste Disposal Program
“With the green light, the vision of providing a year-round, weekly collection opportunity would offer Allen County’s population of 370,400 a more convenient and consistent means to properly dispose of HHW. A key player, who was extremely instrumental in assisting us with the site setup and ultimately making our vision a reality, was our Veolia Representative, Jurgen Heinz.
“Our contract simply carried over into an expansion of a permanent program, so we didn’t have to go out and rebid the contract. Our former one-day annual event is now a weekly 9:00 am – 2:00 pm event called Tox Away Tuesdays. Mr. Heinz brought his technical and chemical knowledge to the table with material segregation and containment site setup areas. He provided hands-on training when it came to acids, oxidizers, and other chemicals, including unknowns. We accept poisons, adhesives, aerosols, flammables, batteries, etc., all of which are under Veolia’s contract.
“Myself, along with our Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Joshua Ritter are the only two Hazwoper Certified employees onsite every Tuesday to collect from the public. Knowing we are a small staff, Jurgen Heinz has made himself available to assist us. It has been extremely helpful and a relief when 80 vehicles can make their way through our facility on any given Tuesday. Mr. Heinz makes sure we have adequate supplies, keeps us informed and updated with manifesting and packaging regulations. If he is not present, I know he is just a phone call away.”
Engaged Public, Responsible Waste Management “We opened our facility July 10 and have disposed of over 16 tons of material in the first three months of operation. We have only advertised the expanded program through our social media channels and speaking to community groups. We wanted a soft rollout so we could handle the demand with the staff onsite. I do see expanded operations in 2019. Feedback from the public has been overwhelming. They are very appreciative, engaged, and thankful for the expanded service.”