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County will start waste screening

John HartMcCourtney Road Transfer Station will conduct random screenings of trash to keep hazardous materials out of landfills.
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McCourtney Road Transfer Station has implemented a new waste-screening program aimed at cracking down on the dumping of hazardous materials.

As of Friday, federal and state laws require operators of transfer stations and landfills to conduct random screenings of trash to ensure hazardous substances are not entering the waste stream, said Steve Porter, the county’s solid-waste manager.



“The potential threat of ground water contamination is enhanced when certain materials are buried in landfills,” Porter explained.




Both residential and commercial customers – regardless of the size of the trash load – are subject to the random screening.

Waste to be screened will be selected through a random process based on the number of vehicles expected to deliver waste to the landfill on a particular day, Porter said. A numerical system will be used, and vehicles entering the transfer station that match the numbers selected will be screened.

While the county reserves the right to inspect every item taken to the transfer station, the intent of the program is not to single out any one person or entity, unless a pattern develops that indicates a particular customer continues to attempt to deliver unacceptable material, Porter said.

If hazardous waste is detected, he said, the customer will be asked to keep the material and instructed on proper disposal methods.

The following materials prohibited from disposal at the transfer station can be discarded at the recycling facility at the transfer station: motor oil, paint, paint solvents, aerosol paint cans, antifreeze, freon-based appliances, car batteries, oil filters and tires.

Materials prohibited from disposal at the transfer station and recycling facility include pesticides, PCB materials, acids, household cleaning products, film-processing waste, herbicides, chlorine bleach, gasoline, paint strippers, contaminated motor oil, poisons, solvents, asbestos, household batteries and pool chemicals.

These materials can be disposed of at household hazardous waste disposal events held periodically in the county, Porter said. The next one is scheduled for May 18 at Rood Administrative Center in Nevada City.

Porter said the county plans to establish a permanent household hazardous waste drop-off facility and schedule more disposal events throughout the year.

— People with questions about what can and cannot be disposed of at the transfer station may call 477-8022.


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