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Residents clean up and unload hazardous material

Two employees of Red Rock Environmental Group start unloading large containers of paint and oil from Ahwahnee resident Doris Mathison’s truck June 17, during the annual free household hazardous waste event at Yosemite High School.
Two employees of Red Rock Environmental Group start unloading large containers of paint and oil from Ahwahnee resident Doris Mathison’s truck June 17, during the annual free household hazardous waste event at Yosemite High School. Sierra Star

More than 100 vehicles and trucks were lined up at 9 a.m. June 17 to unload thousands of pounds old paint, antifreeze, tires, motor oil, computers and televisions at the annual free Household Hazardous Waste event at Yosemite High School.

Sponsored by Madera County and Red Rock Environmental Group, it was one of largest turnouts for the 17-year-old event, with more than 300 vehicles and trucks dropping off a variety of material between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m..

Doris Mathison said the event provided her a good way to dispose of some old hazardous material from her place in Ahwahnee. She brought six tires, oil, and gallons of old paint, with most of it being more than 50 years old, and some even older.

“This is a great free event for everyone in the Mountain Area,” Mathison said. “I hope they continue doing it.”

Other material dropped off included car batteries, fluorescent lamps, insect spray, weed killers, pool chemicals, pesticides, drain cleaners, aerosol cans, paint thinner, solvents, art supplies, paint remover, photographic chemicals, and a large variety of outdated electronics including cell phones, televisions, computers, and VCRs.

Madera County Solid Waste Engineer Oscar Ortiz assisted a dozen employees of Red Rock collecting and sorting all the material, which was hauled to Bay Area facilities for proper disposal or recycling of the material.

“It’s great to see the community supporting this important event by disposing of their hazardous material the right and best way,” Ortiz said. “Even with the heat, we had a good turnout. We had a near record day in the amount of waste brought to the event. Even though people had to wait in line for up to an hour, everyone was very patient.”

EMADCO Disposal Service of Oakhurst assisted the event with large dumpsters for the waste at no charge.

Hazardous waste and recycling locations

All Right Recycling: Located in front of North Fork Market. Accepts PET plastics, aluminum, CRV and other glass bottles. Appointments can be made for pickup, and for larger metal items such as cars and tractors. Prices vary for this service. (559) 676-3787, allrightrecycling@yahoo.com.

Anderson Recycle Center: 35442 Highway 41, Coarsegold. CRV glass, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Paper (magazines, newspaper, junk mail), but no cardboard. (559) 760-5405.

Jerry & Willie’s Recycling: 40091 Enterprise Dr., Oakhurst. Aluminum, CRV plastic, glass, and PET hard plastic. (559) 642-6444.

North Fork Transfer Station (operated by Red Rock Environmental Group): 33699 Road 274. Free disposal of recyclables as listed under Fairmead Landfill. (559) 877-4226.

Sierra E-Waste: 40879 Highway 41, Oakhurst. Accepts just about anything with a cord: TVs, computer and related items, printers, radios, heaters, fans, toasters, washer/dryers, refrigerators and more. Call before you go. (559) 760-6764.

Fairmead Landfill: 21739 Road 19, Chowchilla. Free disposal of separated recyclables (no garbage): junk mail paper, colored advertising papers, phone books, magazines, cardboard, aluminum cans, tin and steel cans, scrap metal, glass, plastics, electronic waste including TVs, computers, VCRs, cell phones and computer accessories. Fee for tires and rims - appliances with freon, $15 fee. No styrofoam. Household hazardous waste facility is open Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (559) 665-3099.

Yosemite Lakes Park: Third Saturday morning of the month at the Recreation Center. Donate your recyclables - newspapers, glass, household and CRV plastic and CRV aluminum.

Miscellaneous: Sharps/needles: Special bins for sharps at Emadco office, Oakhurst, North Fork transfer station and household waste facility at Fairmead Landfill. Sharps/needles must be placed in a box or container.

Motor oil: Eagle Quick Lube, Dan’s Auto Repair and O’Reilly Auto Parts, all in Oakhurst. Must be in approved containers - No anti-freeze containers allowed.

Long CFL bulbs are considered hazardous waste - see Fairmead Landfill.

Details: (559) 675-7811.

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