HHW Events & Catch Basins Advice at June MOM Meeting

NRRA municipal members gathered virtually on June 9th for a great MOM meeting during the heat wave.  In addition to discussing current markets and member services updates, attendees got a special presentation on Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events and catch basin cleanings from Brett Rogers, Disposal Manager at Environmental Projects, Inc. (EPI), an NRRA vendor.  

Bonnie Bethune, Members Services Manager, reviewed the good news for many recyclables in this bull market. In 2020, mills were overstocked with material. Now that the economy has opened again in 2021, no manufacturer wants to be caught without enough inventory. Manufacturers are hungry to purchase recyclables to make into new products. That is great news for increased revenue for our members.

The Member Services Team continues to call operators to review the last 18 months of activity with NRRA. We ask about the highlights and challenges of each town. We will offer check-ins via phone or in-person now that the state of emergency has been lifted in NH.

The volunteers for the Keene Backyard Composting Pilot Program have their Subpods and Green Cones installed at their homes and have begun collecting data for the 2021 season. The City of Keene is encouraging its residents to reduce the weight in their waste by diverting food scraps to backyard composting.

We warmly welcomed Brett Rogers, Disposal Manager at EPI, as our special speaker. EPI has been operating from Auburn, ME for 22 years and is hoping to open a Lebanon, NH office this year. They wish to expand their reach in NH and VT. Brett highlighted the details of working with NRRA to plan Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events. Proper disposal has become more difficult lately because incinerators are understaffed and there have been two incinerator shutdowns. As a result, trucks have had to wait for weeks in the line. There has also been an increase in oxidizers and pesticides which create unique challenges for disposal. Brett recommended that towns plan a year ahead to schedule their HHW events since their weekend schedule fills up quickly. The pandemic has affected HHW events, as towns are seeing double the number of cars participate and a huge increase in gas from boats in 2020. He noted that EPI staff will try to arrive early to a site so that they do not have a backup of cars later in the afternoon.

HHW events only make up five percent of EPI’s work. Mondays through Fridays, their field crew handles oil spill cleanups and catch basin cleanings. Each job is a unique challenge. NRRA receives calls from members who ask us to determine the cost for EPI to pick up contaminated drums of oil/antifreeze, a jar of liquid mercury, or paint. Brett recommended that Public Works should include weekly catch basin checks into their normal routines to prevent backups. He noted that they are called every other week to one client to clean out bottle caps and organics that gather in their drains. They use a high-pressure water stream to jet a line and unblock the area around a drain. Maintenance is easier and less expensive than repair from a clogged drain. EPI does accept latex paint at HHW events for a fee, but they are happy to talk to NH customers on how to solidify their paint and then properly dispose of it in the municipal solid waste.  

Contact NRRA when you need assistance with any of these special needs and we will work with EPI to find the best answer at the best price for you to properly dispose of your material. That is peace of mind!