Over the past month I have been sharing my experience with the Edmonton Master Composter-Recycler Program. Maybe it will inspire somebody to learn more about composting. Maybe a few people will discover more about recycling. Perhaps more than one reader will find something here that they can take away and use in their own community.
Edmonton began holding city household toxic roundups in 1987. People could drop off their hazardous household waste at select locations around the city. They were three day events, once yearly, and continued until 1994.
Out of a demand for more regular service, the City began planning for a permanent solution. In August 1995 the first Eco Station was opened in Strathcona; 26,350 vehicles visited in 1996 alone. In December 1999 the City opened its second station at Coronation.
By 2006 more than 130,000 vehicles were visiting the Eco Stations and it was time to open a third at Ambleside. Ambleside features a reuse area where staff can place items that they feel others might use, like furniture or electronics in good condition. In 2014 our fourth Eco Station will open near the elvedere transit station (Kennedale).
Eco Stations provide a safe means of disposing of hazardous materials that may cause fire, injury or health concerns. It also keeps these materials out of landfill and therefore the environment.
Hazardous waste includes chemicals, metals, electronics, appliances, batteries, fluorescent tubes, tires, and paint. Recyclables are also accepted at Eco Stations as well as large bulky items, small appliances, lawn clippings and many other items. If you’re not sure about what goes where, check out this link.
Paint comes in large volumes into the station. They have a paint exchange program where people can drop off or pick up partial cans of paints. Some paints are mixed and now are available for sale in shops as “ecopaint”.
Chemicals are packed in drums and sent to contractors who further recycle or incinerate them. Oils can be mixed and used as a burner fuel or in asphalt. Tires are used in rubber paving stones and to make livestock mattresses. Metals in computer components get extracted and reused.
Eco Stations don’t accept explosives, radioactive waste, pressurized gases or anything dangerous to handle.
Now over 220,000 vehicles visit Eco Stations each year. They are successful because they are convenient, comprehensive and affordable.
Thank you: This week we were visited by Jenna from the Coronation Eco Station