NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The site of the former WASTEC plant has a new purpose, as certified staff members will now collect hazardous waste six days a week.
The household hazardous waste drop-off is meant to offer convenience for families in New Hanover County, according to Joe Suleyman, Director of Environmental Management.
Items like used oil, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and electronics used to be collected during annual events. Suleyman said the daily drop-off times will keep people safe from storing the potentially dangerous material longer than they need it.
"If someone's on vacation and they missed our annual event, they would have to hang onto it until next year," he said. "We want to make sure everything is stored properly."
Besides personal safety, Suleyman stressed an awareness of the environment for people who are considering the free service.
"If you don't understand the impact of improper disposal of these chemicals, they could end up contaminating groundwater and surface water and we all need that to drink," said Suleyman. "We want to keep that resource protected as much as possible.'
The new drop-off is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
What happened to WASTEC
The former WASTEC is facility is unlikely to reopen now that the stack has been removed.
Demolition crews worked Wednesday to pick apart the large piece of metal to be sent to a scrap yard.
Suleyman said he will be notifying officials at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources about the removal, which was a major asset to pollution control for WASTEC.
"We're essentially out of the waste to energy business," he said.
The Department of Environmental Management is now working with a consultant to create a future plan for the county. Suleyman said the new plan has to consider three components:
Suleyman said once the plan is developed it will be up to the Board of Commissioners to consider what policies to put in place.
A prior board voted to close WASTEC, and the board after that rejected a plan to refurbish the facility.
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