RECORD NUMBERS TURNED OUT
FOR CITY’S HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL EVENT
More than 1,100 vehicles brought
in 5,000 gallons of material;
Food, cash donations will result in 10,286 meals
RAPID CITY, SD—This month’s Household Hazardous Waste Disposal event produced overwhelming numbers of collected waste material.
The event was held October 16 at the Central States Fairgrounds. The main purpose of the event was to collect household hazardous waste materials. Items such as aerosols, disinfectants, antifreeze, flammable liquids, paint, light bulbs, auto repair fluids and pest control chemicals were some of the examples of items the public brought in free of charge from their garages and homes.
City Solid Waste officials term the public’s response ‘overwhelming’, especially in comparison to the 2019 collection numbers.
**A total of 1,127 vehicles passed through the Central States Fair gates for this month’s event, dropping off approximately 5,000 gallons of waste and toxic material. Two years ago, officials counted 650 vehicles with about 2,500 gallons of material collected.
**Among the materials disposed of at this October’s event: 220 gallons of antifreeze; 650 gallons of flammable liquids, 3,974 gallons of miscellaneous liquids.
**The public dropped off 1,079 fluorescent items. At the event in 2019, only 127 fluorescent items were discarded.
**Seven cubic yards of aerosols were collected this year compared to two cubic yards in 2019.
“It was an overwhelming response from the public,” said Ria Harper of the City’s Solid Waste Division. “It’s evident people were busy with at-home projects during the COVID pandemic period and also taking advantage of nice weather to get projects around the home completed. The hazardous waste collection event helps get materials out of the home and garage, and keeps materials out of our storm sewers and fields.
“We are also very pleased at the generosity of the public in their donations of food and cash to Feeding South Dakota.”
At the 2019 event, the City’s Solid Waste Division collected 1,920 pounds of non-perishable food items and $391 in cash donations as admission to the waste disposal event. At this month’s waste disposal event, the public donated 3,323 pounds of food and $2,505 in cash donations.
“It was a tremendous event in terms of food and cash donated,” said Shawn Burke, development associate for Feeding South Dakota. “We usually figure about three meals per dollar, and 1.2 pounds of food per meal, so the day will provide 10,286 meals!”
Harper appreciated the patience of many drivers, who stayed in long lines around the Fairgrounds campus, to discard of materials and donate food items. The waste disposal event has cost the City from $70,000-100,000 and is held every two years. The City contracts with Veolia Industrial Service of Blaine, Minnesota to haul away the hazardous waste materials.
The Rapid City Landfill will not accept most of the materials collected at the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal event. Harper encourages anyone seeking disposal options for toxic materials to check Solid Waste Division facebook posts for updates.