Cape public works collects hazardous waste
The Cape Coral Public Works Annex hosted a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Saturday to collect household chemicals and other products that are harmful to the environment if they aren’t disposed of correctly.
Cars pulled up to the drop-off point with boxes full of old paint cans, batteries, flares and cooking oil. These items were taken and subsequently sorted by officials from House Chemical Waste at the Topaz Court facility in Fort Myers.
The disposal organization holds these collections at least twice a year, explained Erich Tscherteu, solid waste coordinator.
“Most of the stuff we take is latex paint, old monitors and televisions,” he said. “All of this stuff can be brought to the Topaz Facility.”
Officials from the last collection counted 400 cars and on Saturday afternoon 150 had already dropped off their chemical waste. Materials that aren’t probably disposed of, such as solvents, oil-based paints or pesticides, can pollute Lee County’s ground water.
Paint should never be poured down a sink and old electronics such as televisions or monitors, can’t be thrown in the traditional trash pick-up. On the other hand, empty paint cans can be disposed of in the regular garbage.
According to Tscherteu, 90 percent of all the items collected are recycled, except items such as pesticides or corrosives that have to be shipped to another facility in the state.
The collection was open from 8 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, but Cape Coral residents who missed the opportunity to properly dispose of chemical waste can bring it to the Topaz Facility on 6441 Topaz Court. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month from 9 to noon.
For more information on what items are accepted by the Solid Waste Division, call 533-8000.