Heavy rain may have been a damper for the annual hazardous waste collection event in Langley, with 869 vehicle attending the George Preston Recreation Centre parking lot on Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30, down from the 1,000 vehicles recorded the previous year.
Christopher Combe, environmental sustainability coordinator for the Township of Langley, said the first day, with mostly dry weather, saw about 500 vehicles dropping off, but on the “soggy” Sunday that followed, under heavy rain and wind, there was a drop.
Langley City resident Chris Boughen was first in line Saturday, arriving at 6:30 a.m., well before the event opened at 9 to avoid waiting in line.
“It’s been a popular event, with a significant lineup most years,” Boughen noted.
It was the second year the event has been held at George Preston, rather than the Murrayville public works yard, and Boughen found it a big improvement, much easier to navigate.
“Like night and day,” Boughen noted.
Before the gate opened, the lineup of vehicles waiting to enter stretched north along 208th Street, down the hill past 44th Avenue.
Upon entering the parking lot, drivers passed by three stations – the first handling flammable liquids, pesticides, gasoline, and diesel, the second for household hazardous waste such as motor oil, antifreeze, pool chemicals, and propane tanks, and the third for household recycle products like small appliance, batteries, light bulbs, and thermostats.
It was free, with drivers encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations for the food bank.
Combe said anyone who didn’t make it to the weekend still has options for safe disposal.
“Although this is a once a year event, a lot of the stuff that we’re collecting here can go back to depots all year round,” Combe told the Langley Advance Times.
“Facilities [for hazardous waste disposal] are improving.”
The one thing no one should do is try to sneak hazardous items into regular household garbage, whether for pickup or drop off at waste transfer stations.
“It puts the workers at risk and runs the risk of contaminating the environment,” Combe warned.
To find out where hazardous materials can be safely disposed of, search the Recycling Council of British Columbia website or call the recycling hotline at 604-RECYCLE (732-9253) for general information on household hazardous waste and where it can be disposed, including local retailers.
More photos from the day can be viewed at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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