Collection Event or Permanent Site
Funding a Collection or Site
Cost Saving Options
Each type of collection has a unique set of characteristics. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to the type of collection program you choose to operate. Without planning and clearly defined goals, reachable through a well-organized approach, your HHW program may not meet all the needs of your community.
Single Day HHW Collection
All HHW collection programs trace their goals to the single day HHW collection event and this type of collection continues to be a mainstay event. Each year more and more municipalities determine to provide this service for their communities. The single day collection event provides its own set of advantages. Advantages include a specific program date (Earth Day is a good example), collection time can be flexible, items collected can be broad or narrow, depending upon funding, permitting is straight forward, media coverage is typically good, site collection is flexible (fairgrounds, civic center parking lots, etc.), costs are manageable. Of course there are few limitations to single day HHW collections as well. Typically, little to no education program accompanies the first single day HHW event, pre-planning can be very time-consuming, a heavy reliance must be placed on your scheduled contractors and everything must come together at the right time, site set-up and break-down makes for a long collection day, to name a few. Also, the ability to utilize creative avenues of site and waste management is limited.
The measuring stick for a single day HHW collections is quite simple. If the program attracts 1% of the households in your target area and costs are maintained between $75 and $90 per household, success has been attained.
Milk-run HHW collections
This variation on the single day event is unique and effective. A milk-run collection works as follows: a schedule of collection locations, dates and times are posted throughout the county well in advance of the collection event, your contractor mobilizes a service vehicle and a small number of trained staff members, a small operations area is established at each pre-determined collection site, HHW is collected from the participants. Advantages include optimum participation in rural areas where an established network of solid waste convenience centers already exists, the collection can be accomplished with a small number of personnel and can be operated with limited set-up and break-down, full county coverage. This collection program has limitations as well: while pre-planning is not as extensive as the single day event, the planning and advertising must be completed and implemented far in advance of the collection, media coverage can be less eye-catching than the single-day single-site collection, each collection location will be limited to a specific day and timeframe.
Door to Door (Curbside) HHW collections
While this concept of HHW collections is new, it presents a hands-free yet comprehensive HHW collection system that is worth investigating. The Curbside HHW collection program operates as follows: residents can call a toll-free hotline operated by Curbside to schedule a collection. The hotline operator will qualify the caller, determine the types and quantity of accepted material the resident has for collection. A collection date will be scheduled. A kit (capable of holding 75 pounds of HHW) will be provided to each participant prior to collection, a trained service person will collect the kit, examine the contents and correctly package the acceptable HHW material to meet Department of Transportation (DOT) shipping guidelines. Complete reporting will be provided to the municipality (who, what, when, etc.). All of this is provided at a per household costs.
Curbside poses many advantages. In comparison to the single day and Milk-run collections, much of the pre-planning is all but eliminated. No additional county staffing, or added staff responsibilities are required to implement the collections. County emphasis can be placed on education rather than daily operational concerns. Billing to the county is per household. Collection times are citizen convenient. Public education assistance, customer surveys, and performance monitoring is provided. Conditionally-Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) are eligible to participate (curbside can bill the CESQG instead of the municipality). Grants are available for qualifying programs. All citizens, including the most under-served are serviced. There are a few limitations to Curbside: containers that are over 5 gallons in size can incur and additional fee and budgeting concerns can arise (i.e. the number of households serviced per year).
The Curbside collection program also proves to be an excellent supplement to an existing permanent HHW collection program by providing services to the elderly and handicapped. Also, the CESQG Curbside program, implemented as described above, can be added to an existing permanent HHW collection at no cost to county solid waste budgets, no additional work for HHW collection managers, yet provides a solution for the ever growing need to manage CESQG wastes without pulling funding away from the HHW collection budget.
Permanent HHW Collection Programs
This type of collection activity provides the most opportunities for the hands-on solid waste staff. Depending upon the level of involvement, auxiliary programs and low costs create a truly unique collection program.
The logistics of the permanent HHW collection site provides set days and times that citizens can dispose of their HHW. This aids in advertising and citizen planning. HHW collections can be managed by city or county personnel, at city or county owned sites. Contractor personnel can manage collection activities at city or county owned sites, or, the entire collection can be managed and operated at the contractor's location. The collection site can be a permanent building equipped with sufficient containment and other applicable safety features. A pre-engineered storage building is a cost effective option for a permanent collection program.
Managing the permanent HHW collection site becomes an on-going exercise in creativity that proves to be beneficial. As the collection program develops, trends will develop that prompt alternative, non-traditional approaches to managing costs. For instance, choosing to staff the operation with trained employees proves to be cost effective. Also, volunteer trained labor from local industry, fire department, and LEC can provide an excellent cost savings alternative to the full contractor's staff.
By far, the largest area of cost management falls in the area of waste management. Being safe, environmentally conscious and creative in this area allows for the inspection of various re-use and exchange programs. Many permanent collections operate a latex paint exchange, some offer latex paint to habitat for humanity, other programs actively promote an item re-use program and most all programs are engaged in a local waste re-use/recycling program for other types of HHW. Many industries will provide at no cost varying operating supplies such as DOT approved containers to package materials, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other safety and operational supplies. While all of these ideas require periods of planning and networking with many industries and agencies, the results will be positively reflected in the end of the year costs for the collection program.
Permanent HHW collection programs are not without their downsides. As expected, the site location and permitting procedures are more extensive than a single day collection event, initial start-up costs can be a hurdle if the pre-planning period is not sufficient. And as detailed above, continuous oversight is necessary.
Funding an HHW Event or Permanent Site
One of the first concerns when planning an HHW event or opening a facility is how to pay for the program. Whether it's a one-day event or a permanent site, there can be a significant cost. Many funding sources are available that specifically and generally target Household Hazardous Waste management. Grants are available and tipping fees can be effective. This section should give you some ideas of where to start looking for the funding for your program. There may be other avenues in addition to the ones listed available in your community. So, please do not limit yourself to what is on this list. In addition to finding sources, we have included tips for minimizing costs in your program. Again, there may be other means for minimizing costs specific to your community, but these suggestions should give you a good start.
Many grants are available through state and federal agencies to set up HHW collection. If you organization is classified as non-profit, 501(c)(3), there are national companies that offer grants as well. The Internet is a great source for locating grants as well as the Foundation Directory (Foundation Center in NY). Some starting places are:
- ND Department of Agriculture
- ND Department of Forestry
- EPA Region VIII
- Bremer Foundation
- Cargill Foundation
Add onto water / sewer bill:
Many governments have implemented additional charges on water and sewer bills for HHW collection. The HHW facility helps to divert hazardous materials from entering our water and sewer systems.
Tipping fees from the landfill are a good source of funding for a program; an increase in tipping fees may be necessary. It may also be possible to establish a tipping fee at the HHW facility.
Tax pesticides and probable pollutants:
Impose a tax on these items as a means of regulating and ensuring proper disposal.
Impose Advanced Disposal Fees (ADF) on electronics and use toward HHW collection:
Televisions and electronics are becoming more and more prominent in the waste stream and are a potential hazard to soil and water systems. Currently, they are not listed as HHW, but it is known that TVs and monitors could fail a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). Imposing an ADF on such goods, then incorporating their collection into your program could be a significant funding source.
Request funds in annual budget:
Present your idea for an HHW facility to your board of commissioners and explain why it is so important to provide this collection service to your residents, and then request the funds when you submit your annual budget.
EPA's Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP):
Companies found polluting have the option of writing off 50% of the fine by donating that 50% to local governments for environmental projects like an HHW facility.
Find an individual or group interested in being the permanent contractor and fully responsible for the facility.
Cost Saving Options
A swap shop is a great way to minimize the amount of material a contractor needs to haul away. Materials in their original well-labeled container and still in useable condition can be placed in a swap shop for the public. Make sure the resident signs a release of liability for the product. Items found in swap shops can be: paint, stain, thinner, lamp oil, motor fluid, charcoal, lighter fluid, car polishes and waxes, household cleaners, grease, pesticides, and other lawn and garden chemicals.
Donated space from military or county fairgrounds:
Use public land or donated land for the collection site. This is true for both permanent and one-day collections.
Use salvaged material to supply facility:
Items found in a swap shop are also suitable for the facility or other departments within the organization. Usable items such as paint can be blended and colored and then used again (sometimes sold to the re-user). Using these materials within the organization can save on purchasing costs as well as disposal costs.
A regional event or permanent facility can be one location or multiple locations within a region. For one-day collections or permanent facilities can save on advertising, collection, and personal costs.
Multiple contractors can help keep the cost down. A local recycler may take the materials for less money or for free because they have minimal transportation costs. Whatever cannot be managed locally can then go to the contractor.
Limited acceptance of materials:
It may be more cost effective to limit the materials accepted at the facility or collection event. For instance, collecting only paints, pesticides, and used oil can considerably decrease disposal costs as well as liability insurance.
Review insurance policy:
There could be provisions in your policy to accommodate additional buildings designed to increase safety. A facility at a landfill may lower liability costs based on the decreased risk of employees unknowingly handling HHW in the regular waste stream.
ND Department of Agriculture for Pesticides:
The ND Department of Agriculture will collect pesticides from collection facilities free of charge. As they must do this in person and have several counties to cover, they will not be able to collect on a frequent basis. In this instance, long-term storage would need to be available for a permanent program.
Depending on the market and competition in your area, a contractor may be willing to provide equipment, structures, discounts, or monetary support in exchange for a term contract.
There are a number of areas to pull from to find competent volunteers. Local businesses that are ISO 14001 certified may be willing to offer work credit to employees willing to participate in collection events. University chemistry departments or teachers may be willing to offer class credit for volunteering. Your local Fire Department of Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) may have members interested in working at the facility. Members of the community may want to offer their time to help. Make sure the volunteers sign a release of liability.