Success Stories

Success Stories: Tillamook County Solid Waste offers local recycle solutions

Tillamook County is home to the first (and only) permanent hazardous waste collection facility on the Oregon Coast. At this facility, located at the Tillamook Transfer Station at 1315 Ekloff Road, residents can dispose of hazardous materials like unused paint, mercury thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, fire extinguishers, cleaners and chemicals, aerosol cans, fertilizers and pesticides, batteries, antifreeze, propane tanks, and fuel.

Tillamook County Solid Waste

The Tillamook County Solid Waste Department hosts events between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm nine times a year, at no cost to residents. Residential customers are served first come, first served – no appointments are necessary. (Business events are held by appointment three times a year, and are subject to a charge.)

“The construction of the Hazardous Waste Facility is one of the most significant investments Tillamook County has made in its solid waste system, and a stellar example of strategic long-term thinking and good operational management,” said Leslie Kochan, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Northwest Region’s Waste Reduction Specialist. “The results over the past four years of operation have shown what a difference such a facility can make in increasing the convenience of hazardous waste collection opportunities.”

“Since the facility opened on October 1, 2011, we have hosted 43 regular collection events,” said McCall. “At those events we collected over 431,000 pounds (216 tons!) of hazardous waste from 3,879 customers. That translates into 17 pounds per person. The ability to remove old chemicals, light bulbs, etc. from storage rooms and garages really benefits our community. Additionally, we also held 12 special events for businesses, enabling over 50 local businesses and organizations to dispose of their hazardous waste in a safe and secure manner.”

In October this year there will also be a special collection event for commercial pesticides. “This event is open for businesses in not only Tillamook County, but also from Clatsop and Lincoln Counties,” said McCall. “We were able to host this event here because of the HHW facility, and we are happy that DEQ, ODF and ODA are sponsoring this event for local businesses with pesticides.”

For more information, contact the Solid Waste Department.

PAINT is one of those things that has a profound influence on our daily lives. The color of a house or room can help us feel comfortable after a long day. Estimates show that even when we calculate carefully how much paint we need for a project, approximately 10% of it goes unused. But paint is also a potential environmental hazard, especially to streams and water tables. Tillamook County Solid Waste Program Manager David McCall tells us that paint accounts for more than half the materials they receive at the Household Hazardous Waste facility. “We used to ship our unused paint to Portland, where it was recycled into MetroPaint. It was a good thing, but I wanted to find a way that we could find value for our local community, not just the folks in Portland.”

McCall looked around, and then started experimenting. Friends at the TCCA Feed Store and Barclay’s Heating helped with the main parts, and Lincoln County loaned him their mixer for the first trial. The result of this collaborative innovation: “About a year-and-a-half ago we kicked off our local collection and recycling program, using volunteers and staff at HHW events. Last year we mixed 1,447 gallons of locally collected, locally recycled latex paint,” said McCall, “and by April of this year we had already mixed 630 gallons.

“By recycling locally, we reduce our carbon footprint and benefit our local economy. This is a significant step in our efforts to provide convenient, efficient, quality recycling services to residents and businesses in Tillamook County. By partnering with local non-profits with building centers, we are able to support their efforts and customers at the same time, creating a win-win-win situation.”

Recycled paint is exactly that: recycled. It is a mix of interior and exterior paint and can be used either inside or outside, however it has a longer life indoors. Because it is a mix of glosses, acrylics and enamels, it may have a low sheen finish. Recycled latex paint can be applied using a brush, roller or paint sprayer.

Locally recycled latex paint is available while supplies last in seven colors: White, Off-white, Gray, Yellow, Blue and two shades of Tan. Paint can be purchased at the same price of just $24 for 3.5 gallons at four convenient locations:

• CARTM in Manzanita,

• Habitat for Humanity in Bay City,

• Tillamook County Public Works in Tillamook, and

• the Pacific City Transfer Station (new location!).

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