KUTE's Ken Maitland with a sample of what can be disposed of during the hazardous materials event.

KUTE's Ken Maitland with a sample of what can be disposed of during the hazardous materials event.

KUTE in Kitimat to host hazardous materials disposal event

A household hazardous waste disposal event in Kitimat will allow people to rid themselves of excess toxic material.

A household hazardous waste disposal event may not quite sound like carnival-level excitement for the family, but it’s an important way for you get rid of surplus toxic materials from your garage.

Kitimat Understanding the Environment is hosting the event in Kitimat, and will also be run in Terrace and New Hazelton as well.

KUTE director Ken Maitland said the event got off the ground with financial support from the local governments and from local businesses and industries.

He said the material being collected is for things not covered by the provincial Extended Producer Recycling program, and can include things like oven cleaner or Draino.

KUTE has used the financial contributions to fly in specialized chemists who will take in the materials at the KUTE depot on Railway Avenue in the Service Centre, and properly store and transport them away.

“It needs to be treated and handled appropriately,” he said about the waste products being collected.

In total the event, among the three communities, costs an estimated $74,000.

Among the various products people can bring in includes paints, used oils and flammable liquids.

Maitland said it has been 10 to 15 years since the last similar event in Kitimat, and beyond this specific time, people in the community don’t have places they can properly dispose of these types of items.

While these products are not designed to go in to the landfill he says it happens, and that material can contaminate soils and water ways.

Kitimat’s event runs on May 23 from 10 am to 3 p.m. New Hazelton’s event will run the same day, at Allen Park, and Terrace’s event runs May 24, in the co-op parking lot.

There’s no immediate plans to have the same event next year so Maitland recommends either get to this event or make a plan for the chemicals you have at home.

“Don’t leave half a bottle and [then] go buy another,” he said, for ways to cut down on waste.  Just use it all up.