Annual Hazardous Waste Recycling Event A Hit Once Again

Sunday, April 6th 2014, 10:26 pm
By: News On 6

Area citizens catching up on some spring cleaning had a chance to drop off some household chemicals collecting a little dust.

Volunteers have been holding this event for 22 years now, and Metropolitan Environmental Trust's director is hoping one day there will be a building where you can take these items all the time.

"We have recycling centers and we're proud of our collection of newspapers and milk jugs, but this saves lives, this is a significant environmental thing for Tulsa," Michael Patton said.

More than 2,000 cars came through the lanes at the Tulsa Fairgrounds to get rid of chemicals you can't throw away at home.

Metropolitan Environmental Trust has 12 locations throughout Tulsa County, but the drive-up collection events allow homeowners to take harmful chemicals and have them disposed properly.

For MET's executive director, collection events like this can cost him $100,000.

He would like to make hazardous chemical drop offs like this one permanent.

"We're trying to raise money to build a building to do this every weekend of the year, but we just haven't got that money yet, so we're just a poor non-profit," Patton said.

Volunteers with MET collected everything from paint thinner to medication this weekend.

"Just let it pile up ‘til you figure out something to do with it," Tim Hannis said. "Now they got some place to put it, so it's good for everybody."

Patton said, "A lot of these materials can be reused by us so we try to recycle all we can, but we're getting thousands of gallons of stuff today."

Gloria Arias dropped off paint thinner and a car battery.

It took people around 30 minutes to get through the line, for some homeowners, it was worth the wait.

"It's a great service for the community, and I think we all need to be mindful of our environment and taking care of it," Stephen Mace said.

If you missed this weekend's collection event, don't worry, they'll have another one this year.

It will be held the weekend after Halloween.