March 17, 2010
Rolla, St. Robert Suspend Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Services
Due to contractor issues, the cities of Rolla and St. Robert have stopped accepting household hazardous waste until further notice.
Residents of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties have been able to make an appointment and dispose of such things as car batteries, CFL light bulbs, used oil, antifreeze or other toxic, poisonous or flammable products free of charge, year round, at satellite Household Hazardous Waste facilities in Rolla at the Rolla Recycling Center and St. Robert at the St. Robert Transfer Station. The cities have been providing the service since early 2008.
The service was partially funded through a grant from the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District. The two cities had contracted with an Arkansas disposal company to pick up the items and properly dispose of them or recycle them. Recently, Rolla, St. Robert and Ozark Rivers were notified that the Arkansas disposal company has filed for bankruptcy.
With both cities expressing a desire to continue to HHW drop-off service, the Ozark Rivers board, meeting March 2, approved the drafting of new bid specifications so a new contractor could be found. Staff of Meramec Regional Planning Commission is now working on those specifications.
“We are glad that Rolla and St. Robert are committed to providing this service, as it is much needed in our area. There are not many options, and we don’t want people dumping antifreeze and oil on the ground,” said Tammy Snodgrass, environmental programs manager for Meramec Regional Planning Commission, who provides staff support to the solid waste district.
For now, residents are asked to store the HHW safely until the service resumes. Some auto parts stores, such as Auto Zone, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Wal-Mart, and some auto service businesses may accept used oil and used car batteries, Snodgrass said. “You just need to call the local business and ask if they will accept the waste oil or battery,” she added.
A substance is considered hazardous when it contains ingredients or a combination of ingredients that can be harmful to the environment and/or human health, explained Snodgrass. HHW products may ignite easily, react or explode when mixed with other substances, or may be corrosive, toxic or poisonous.
The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district's strategy for reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities. Ozark Rivers contracts with MRPC to provide day-to-day operations and oversee special projects on behalf of the district. For more information, contact MRPC at 573-265-2993.