Official responds to Waste Day concerns
A hazardous waste day held on June 1 was quickly overloaded, leading to lines stretching down Charge Pond Road with long wait times. Many of those who waited — some for more than two hours — were turned away at 12:30, a half hour before the event was supposed to end.
In the past, two hazardous waste days were held simultaneously in Wareham and Carver, but the event was held only in Wareham this year.
Carver Marion Wareham Waste Disposal District director Jeffrey Osuch said that the decision to hold the Hazardous Waste Day only in Wareham was made by the Waste Disposal Committee, and that an hour was added to the length of the event in an attempt to accommodate everyone.
He attributed much of the backup to the fact that people arrived as early as 6:30 for the event, which was scheduled to start at 9 a.m., and estimated that about 75 cars were lined up when the gate opened.
Over the course of the event, waste brought by people in about 370 cars was unloaded, at a rate of almost 100 cars an hour.
Osuch said that there was so much waste dropped off that crews were sorting it until about 9 p.m. The trailer truck and six-wheel box truck the company brought to haul away the waste could not hold everything, and about 18 or 20 drums with a capacity of 55 gallons had to be picked up several weeks later.
“The volume was excessively high,” said Osuch. “What people were bringing certainly wasn’t accumulated over a year or so.”
Additionally, Osuch said a good portion of material could have been disposed of at the regular transfer stations or a recycling center, including fluorescent lights, paints, auto batteries, propane tanks, thinners, waste oil, and mercury. Waste oil can be returned to the stores at which it was purchased.
Osuch said he understood people’s frustration and apologized for it.
The date for the next Hazardous Waste Day has not yet been set. Osuch said that there are only a few companies who do these days, and since the events are usually only held on Saturdays during the warmer months, the companies are often booked up months in advance. There is a possibility that a day would be held in November.
Osuch was not sure why the drive stopped accepting waste early, but said that he had heard it was due to safety concerns about the traffic back-up.
Only one police detail was originally on site. Two more were called at around 11 or 11:30 a.m.