Hazardous waste manager wins national award

Tillamook County’s Solid Waste Program Manager David McCall was one of seven individuals presented with a Golden Bung award at the recent North American Hazardous Materials Management Association conference in Portland.

 By Tillamook County Solid Waste Program staff

More than 250 experts, from across the nation, dedicated to minimizing the impact of hazardous materials convened this year for the week-long series of training and presentations that kicked off Oct. 9.

David McCall, Tillamook County Solid Waste Program manager, is a recipient of the Golden Bung Award. Photo provided

“A bung is the cap used to seal off barrels to prevent spillage and in the case of this award is symbolic of controlling the disposal of hazardous waste,” said Sue Owens, Tillamook County Solid Waste education and outreach specialist. “This Golden Bung award is bestowed on individuals who were able to document particularly unusual hazardous materials that came into their programs and were safely disposed of.”

One of the materials was a case of VX-6 – a cadmium battery additive. Although the box contained a lifetime guarantee, the zip code used indicates that it was manufactured before 1963 and that guarantee is probably no longer valid, officials said.

The county’s contractor, Stericycle Environmental Services, ensured the case of old additives was properly disposed of and no longer poses a threat to the environment.

This is the second award NAHMMA has bestowed on McCall, on behalf of the county’s Household Hazardous Waste program. Last year he was presented with an Agent of Change award at the chapter conference, recognizing the strides made in the county’s program.

“These awards are great but I’m really just doing my job,” McCall said. “It’s unfortunate that there are hazardous materials out there, but when people come across old chemicals and dangerous materials it’s important that they have a place where they can safely dispose of them. By bringing them to our facility, people can rest assured that their homes are free from hazards like this, and keep them safe for their kids and grandkids, as well as themselves.”

Officials said the next residential collection is set for 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 3.

For more information about the Tillamook County Hazardous Waste results, or recycling in general, visit the Tillamook County Solid Waste Department website or call 503-815-3975.