homepage logo

Drop-off program keeps hazardous waste out of Lee landfill

By Staff | Feb 19, 2011

Hundreds of Cape residents lined up to rid themselves of hazardous chemicals, much of it just sitting around their homes for years and serving no purpose.
Tom Johnson was dropping off paint and brick sealer on Saturday, and happy to be rid of it. “This is old, old paint,” Johnson said. “It’s been in the house for since I moved in, for eight years. I’m glad to get rid of it.”
Paint was just one of the many elements being dropped off.
Pallets and Dumpsters were filled with items like old electronics, light bulbs, gasoline, propane, flares, ink cartridges, batteries, vegetable oil and even a 50-year-old can of DDT.
“We don’t lt any of this stuff in the waste stream,” said Lee County Solid Waste Coordinator Erich Tscherteu. “That’s why we collect it and separate it. We don’t landfill anything in Lee County.”
Tscherteu said Lee County leads the state in recycling, recently winning a worldwide award for its efforts. Lee County was named the most sustainable county in North America, Tscherteu said.
Last year alone the county recycled 1.6 million pounds of electronics and 750,000 pounds of hazardous waste.
“Ninety percent of all the waste we take in is recycled,” Tscherteu added. “Last year we were ranked No. 1 in recycling.”
For those who weren’t able to make to Saturday’s hazardous waste collection, Lee County has a drop off facility that accepts hazardous waste in Fort Myers.
Open five days a week, the facility is located at 6441 Topaz Court, and accepts all of the items, plus more, that were being dropped off on Saturday in the Cape.
For more information contact Lee County Solid Waste at 533-8000.