, Salem, MA

April 19, 2013

Get rid of hazardous waste tomorrow

By Alanah Percy
Gordon College News Service

---- — BEVERLY — Sharon Kishida’s plastic bag recycling display appears simple at first glance.

As the regional recycling coordinator for the Essex County House Hazardous Waste Network, Kishida organizes recycling events to promote safe disposals of household hazardous waste. Her traveling exhibit — made from a cardboard display board and assorted bags — is also an educational tool.

“I lend it to municipalities to educate people on how to correctly recycle unwanted plastic bags,” she said.

Kishida has teamed up with Beverly Director of Health William Burke and others to organize Beverly’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon at Beverly High School. This event is open to Beverly and Salem residents.

“We are doing a public service,” Burke said. “Without programs like this, municipal workers are left with the bag.”

Burke says the most common hazardous waste items to be dropped off are paint, aerosol cans, household cleaners, gasoline and paint thinner. Following the event, materials will be separated by item and retrieved by Clean Harbors, a municipal waste disposal company. The company then separates materials by their hazard class and brings them to incinerators, landfills and other disposal locations.

Statistics from Beverly’s 2012 annual report show that 182 vehicles delivered waste last year. In previous years, there were about 400-500 drop-offs.

“Having done it for so long, we are making an impact,” said Seth Dawber, a household hazardous waste specialist from Clean Harbors.

Community recycling initiatives can be more difficult to maintain because of the surge of new technological devices.

“There’s a new product every day that we can’t live without, and it ultimately has to be dispensed of,” Kishida said. “We are a disposable society. It’s not as simple to be green anymore, and putting it on the curbside isn’t enough.”