Spring cleaning for hazardous chemicals

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)–Saturday was spring cleaning for many Springfield residents, as hundreds of gallons of hazardous waste were dropped off to get disposed of properly.

Each spring and fall, Springfield’s Department of Public Works sets up a collection depot for residents to get rid of their household hazardous chemicals.

Marylou Dragon, of Springfield told 22News she was happy to get rid of all those things that build up in the garage.  “I had some old paint and some old gardening chemicals and stuff I wanted to get rid of, they just sit around, you know you collect stuff and I just wanted to get rid of it,” Dragon said.

“Some gas, oil, we had some undercoating for the truck, and some propane.  Where else are you going to put it?  You know, you can’t put it in a landfill,” Jim Burrage, of Springfield, said as he dropped off his items.

The department of public works told 22News that one of the benefits of these collection days is the environment and a popular item dropped off was motor oil.  The DPW also said that one gallon of motor oil disposed the wrong way could potentially contaminate up to a million gallons of  fresh drinking water.

The other benefit is for the safety.  If people throw these kinds of hazardous chemicals into the regular garbage, the combinations of those chemicals could be harmful to the workers picking up the city’s garbage.

Greg Superneau, Springfield DPW’s Assistant Solid Waste Manager, explained why, “Our trash trucks compact the rubbish, so if anything in those containers could potentially be broken and then be combined and start a fire or have some sort of other serious chemical reaction.”

And this collection day is a free service to Springfield residents… without it you would have to call a contractor to come pick up these chemicals from your home, and the DPW says that can get costly.

They will have another collection day on May 17th.  Residents are encouraged to mind the 10 gallon limit and to call the DPW ahead of time to make an appointment at (413) 787-7840.

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