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VALLEY FOCUS | Valley Glen

College Site Offers Toxic Waste Drop-Off

July 10, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

Nearly 700 vehicles unloaded an estimated 70,000 pounds of household hazardous waste at a free drop-off site sponsored by the Los Angeles City Department of Sanitation at Valley College on Thursday.

Hundreds of 55-gallon black metal drums and large yellow bins filled a parking lot as motorists drove up, dumped their waste and departed within five to 10 minutes per vehicle.

"We just didn't want this stuff around the house any more," said Sherman Oaks resident Henri Bollinger, who unloaded old containers of chlorine. "We couldn't just throw it away, so this is a safe and good way to get rid of it."

Most people dropped off items such as paint, motor oil, antifreeze, car batteries and old medicines, said Carlos Campos, project manager for Advanced Environmental Technical Service, which contracts with the city to run the collection sites.

"It's just good common sense to get these things out of the house if they're not being used," Campos said. "The responsible thing to do is to bring this stuff to a drop-off site and not just dump it somewhere."

Campos said most of the materials his company accepts at the collection events cannot be put in a normal solid-waste landfill because they would eventually eat through the dump's protective lining and cause an environmental hazard.

Materials that Campos and his workers will not accept include biological waste products and radioactive substances.

"It's not like people are coming here with plutonium," Campos said. "But we won't accept some things, like some smoke detectors because they have just a little bit of radioactive material."

The household hazardous waste collection continues from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and Saturday at Valley College in Parking Lot B, 5800 Fulton Ave.

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