Osceola Lake counties hazardous waste collection in August


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OSCEOLA COUNTY — The Osceola-Lake Conservation District has scheduled the annual hazardous waste collection at one location for both Osceola and Lake County residents for 2023.
The Osceola County board of commissioners approved $4,000 in support of the hazardous waste collection and the tire and electronics collection program through the conservation district during its meeting July 18.
The board approved the Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal Agreement with the conservation district for $2,500, and the Tire and Electronics Collection and Recycle Program agreement for $1,500 for the 2023 fiscal year.
District manager Mark Sweppenheiser thanked the board for their continued support of the program, saying the household hazardous waste collection was a “huge success” last year.
According to information provided to the board, 37,434 pounds of hazardous waste was collected from 631 households in 2022.
“The cost for this one-day event was $30,111.58, but thanks to the support from the community, we were able to offset the costs of disposal,” Sweppenheiser said.
Sweppenheiser informed the board previously that due to having to change contractors for collection of the hazardous waste, the cost of the collection would be much higher this year.
“We will be paying significantly more for a contract with ERG. In fact, costs will include transportation fees, a minimum of 10,000 Ibs. of waste, and an increase in the cost per pound,” he said in a letter to the board. “Applying ERG costs to our 2022 collection numbers, would have increased waste costs from $30,000 to $64,000. These costs are not sustainable for this program.”
Additionally, he said, starting this year they will no longer be able to have collection dates and locations in both Osceola and Lake counties, but will need to alternate between the two, as well as needing to change the date of the collection to August.
The 2022 hazardous waste collection for both counties is scheduled at 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Osceola County Road Commission building, 4737 Makawa Dr., Hersey.
“This year, the event will be held in Osceola County, but all Lake County residents can use the program. Next year, we will hold the collection in Lake County and all Osceola County residents will be able to utilize the program,” he said in the letter.
Sweppenheiser said the conservation district has administered the hazardous waste collection program for 20 years, but with the increasing costs they are unable to fund it, and are appreciative of the continued support and are asking everyone to maintain their contribution level.
“This program takes the entire community to make it happen,” he said.
The tire and electronic collection will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 5 at Recycle of Osceola County, 531 E. Lincoln Ave., Reed City.
“This is the sixth year for the program, and it has grown every year,” Sweppenheiser said previously. “For the tire component, we are able to get an EGLE (Michigan Department of Great Lakes, Energy and Environment) grant, which covers two trailers, so there is no cost to that. The electronics, however, is 25 cents per pound. We are trying to get a handful of support that will help us continue the program.”
He added, last year they collected 1,400 tires and 14,000 pounds of electronics that other wise would end up in landfills, which can present an environmental disaster.
There are no other locations doing this, so it is kind of important,” he said. “Most small communities don’t have the ability to do it, but we do, and we want to make it sustainable.”
There is no charge for passenger tires on or off rim. Semi tires drop-offs are $15 each. The limit is 10 tires per vehicle, and no tires over 12 inches wide or 4 feet tall will be accepted. Tires must be free of debris.

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