RRRASOC to host household hazardous waste collection event

By: Kayla Dimick, Sherri Kolade, | Farmington Press Southfield Sun | Published October 11, 2017

While most of us Michiganders are still basking in the favorable fall weather, we know — in the back of our minds — that winter is coming. 

Getting ready for winter oftentimes means doing one last yard, basement or garage cleanup, according to Michael Csapo, general manager of the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, and residents looking to properly dispose of their household wastes are invited to the facility to do just that. 

Residents of RRRASOC’s member communities can dispose of household hazardous waste 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 21 at the authority’s Materials Recycling Facility, 20875 Mapleridge Ave. in Southfield. 

 Volunteer Rachel Brink sorts used batteries.

Volunteer Rachel Brink sorts used batteries.

Photo by Heather Gardner

RRRASOC is an expansive operation that provides recycling services for the cities of Southfield, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Walled Lake, Novi, South Lyon and Wixom. It has been in operation since 1989, and in 2011 it underwent a $4 million expansion.

Csapo said there are six recycling events like this throughout the year. 

“Fall is a good time because people are wrapping up their outdoor activities and putting stuff away for the winter, so it’s a good time to go to the garage or the basement and get things cleaned out before the winter,” Csapo said. 

Electronics are the items most frequently brought to be recycled, Csapo said, but there is a laundry list of additional items that residents can bring. 

Kevin McCarthy, superintendent of public works for the city of Farmington Hills, said in an email that the sixth annual event allows Farmington Hills residents to safely and easily dispose of household hazardous waste. 

“This also prevents these materials from being discarded into the landfills, which is not good for our environment,” he said, adding that Farmington Hills hosts one of these events in the spring at the Oakland Community College Orchard Ridge Campus. “It is always well-attended and results in a large amount of household hazards being collected.”

McCarthy said that in May, the Farmington Hills event saw 2,096 vehicles make a record-breaking drop-off of hazardous materials. 

The city’s numbers from 2016 show that it collected about 62 tons of hazardous materials, McCarthy said.

“By having several of these events, these materials are disposed of safely and properly, instead of putting them directly into the landfills, keeping these things out of our groundwater, streams and rivers,” he said.

Commonly accepted items include oil-based paints, used motor oil, antifreeze, household and automotive batteries, pesticides, cleaning products, unused medication and fluorescent bulbs. 

Paper shredding will be available on-site, with a limit of three boxes per vehicle, or 100 pounds of paper, officials said. 

RRRASOC will not accept latex paints, explosives, smoke detectors, radioactive waste or commercial/business waste. Officials also ask that products are kept in their original containers and are not mixed. 

Csapo said the convenience of the event brings around 2,000 residents each time. 

“I don’t know if (the attendance) is a function of the fact that it’s a drive-through event any more than just a function of it being an event that gives people the opportunity to do the right thing,” Csapo said. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for people.”

A complete list of acceptable household hazardous waste items is available on the RRRASOC website, www.rrrasoc.org, or by calling (248) 208-2270. The event will be held rain or shine.