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St. Croix County recycling collected a record amount of hazardous waste during the 2015 Clean Sweep event held in May. According to Megen Hines, recycling specialist, 573 participants brought in 54,529 pounds of paints, solvents, pesticides, fertilizers, old fuels, batteries, mercury devices and other materials. Latex paint was collected for the first time this year and 14,158 pounds were brought in for proper disposal. The participants included 25 businesses, 11 farms and 537 households.
St. Croix County held its first collection in 1989 – one of the first ever in Wisconsin – and has sponsored Clean Sweeps every year since with the exception of 1990 and 1992. From 1989 – 1997 and again from 2011 – 2015, there has been one collection each year, while from 1998 – 2010 there were both spring and fall events.
St. Croix County has held 38 Clean Sweep collections and the 54,529 pounds collected this year is the largest amount for any single year. It is 89.6% more than what was brought in last year. Over the years, there have now been 10,582 participants who have safely disposed of 314 tons of hazardous materials.
Hines noted that although St. Croix County has made great progress in keeping these hazardous materials out of landfills and waterways, the results from this year show that the need for proper disposal options is still present.
“The significant increase in hazardous waste collected in this year’s program continued to demonstrate the need to hold Clean Sweep collections in St. Croix County. Adding latex paint to our collection was well received by county residents who are looking for a responsible solution to discarding their unwanted and unusable items.”