Expanded household waste recycling sees increased response

RECYCLING with a view at Parkdale Fire Hall on Baseline Drive, where David Skakel, right, talks with Parkdale resident Chris Stanley, who has brought boxes of surplus garden substances for disposal. Most materials are taken first to a location in Washougal for further sorting, packaging and transport for disposal.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
RECYCLING with a view at Parkdale Fire Hall on Baseline Drive, where David Skakel, right, talks with Parkdale resident Chris Stanley, who has brought boxes of surplus garden substances for disposal. Most materials are taken first to a location in Washougal for further sorting, packaging and transport for disposal.



The April 21 Hazardous Waste Collection event at Parkdale Fire Station drew a steady stream of local residents bringing household hazardous material for collection and eventual disposal.

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Most materials are taken first to a location in Washougal for further sorting, packaging and transport for disposal.

More Tri-County Recycling events are scheduled at the Hood River Guignard Road facility on May 18 and Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and in The Dalles on May 10 and Aug. 18, same hours.

The turnout reflected recent trends toward increased participation in the Gorge, and residents brought in many of the same items such as electronics, old batteries, garden and household chemicals, and motor oil, but for David Skakel, recycling coordinator, the annual Parkdale event has a special appeal.

He gestured at sun-drenched Mount Hood and said, “This is why we do this. The mountain is the storehouse for our drinking water, sustenance for fish, and the source of our critical orchard water. We are keeping as many of these substances out of water system as we can.”

Skakel pointed to the partnership with the statewide e-Cycle program, which enables residents to bring old computers and other devices for safe disposal. Historically, electronics could be left at the Guignard Road disposal center, but the e-Cycle partnership is a more efficient system, Skakel said.

“Having tested it last year, we found out some amazing benefits to our program, in that our attendance at these events has nearly doubled and we save money by having that program because e-Cycle helps pay for some of our disposal costs,” Skakel said.

“Having electronics here is an attraction for more hazardous waste (to be brought in). We now collect medicine, and have had almost double the attendance and it’s saving us money, but we’re using the savings to pay for the additional hazardous waste that comes to our events.” He called it a “net no change in cost but, environmentally speaking, it’s big.”

Tri-County HWR provides collection and disposal services to households, businesses (conditionally exempt generators, or CEGs), orchardists and farmers of the Tri-County area. The program owns two hazardous waste collection facilities, which are located at The Dalles Disposal Service, 1317 W. First St., and Hood River Garbage Service, 3440 Guignard Drive.

Both facilities opened in July 2006. The Tri-County program holds hazardous waste collection events at both permanent facilities, as well as once a year at rural locations.

For details, go to tricountyrecycle.com.



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