Town collects loads of hazardous waste

More than 400 cars lined up Saturday, Oct. 27, for Wilton's 25th annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. This year's event took place at Miller-Driscoll School where 373 cars from Wilton were joined by 8 from surrounding communities including Weston, Westport, New Canaan, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, and Greenwich.

Wilton's portion of the cost is approximately $13,000. The municipalities of the out-of-town guests are billed separately for their respective portions.

Hazardous materials including cleaners, paints, pesticides and fertilizers were collected by Care Environmental, Inc. and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.

According to the Conservation Commission, water-based paints and stains will no longer be collected in an effort to reduce costs and streamline the traffic flow of future collections.

"If the label recommends soap and water cleanup, then the paint is likely a water-based paint or stain," the commission said in a press release, and it "recommends that you remove the lids from these cans and allow them to dry to a solid state before disposing of them in your household trash. You can also add cat litter to the paint can to create a solid lump inside the can. This mix should be disposed of in your household trash."

Oil-based paints and stains will still be collected because they are manufactured with chemicals that require specialized disposal. If the label suggests using paint thinner or mineral spirits for cleanup, then that paint is likely an oil-based product, the commission said.

"With the help of Wilton resident volunteers, including Wilton High School students, the entire collection ran smoothly and thousands of gallons of hazardous material were collected," Michael Conklin, an environmental analyst with the commission said. "The Conservation Commission would like to thank all those who participated."