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Guilford Announces Changes at Waste Transfer Station

For those who use the Transfer Station in town, Guilford officials are alerting residents that the town will no longer accept waste motor oil and antifreeze for recycling at the transfer station. While it may cause a headache for some residents, environmental concerns surrounding the recycling of waste oil have made it impossible for the town to continue this practice.

At a Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, Town Engineer Jim Portley said the transfer station, located at 1900 Boston Post Road in Guilford, is used by Guilford and Madison residents. As neither town provides public rubbish pick-up, the transfer station serves as a place for residents to drop off garbage and recycling that the town then compacts and ships to a plant in the state. The town has regularly collected waste oil in a thousand-gallon tank at the transfer station. A third party periodically empties the tank.

However, a few months ago Portley said the company that usually removes the waste oil for the town informed him that PCB contaminates have been found in the oil at other facilities.

“The vendor who takes the oil for us at a very modest cost alerted us to the fact that they can’t take it unless the tank is tested because they have pulled back away from this type of service because there have been a number of incidents in the state where the oil that they have collected has been contaminated with PCBs,” he said.

Portley looked into the issue and spoke with officials at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). He said if the town were to continue taking oil, it would have to be tested on the town’s own dime before it can be sent away or collected.

“I was able to get off their [DEEP] website that PCB contaminated waste oil, it can be a real headache and it’s something we all have to be aware of,” he said. “Based on that and the exposure I wanted to look at what other options we have. We have to provide for recycling of oil–it’s a mandate by the state of Connecticut.”

While the town does have to provide this service, Portley said the town belongs to HAZWASTE Central on Sargent Drive in New Haven. He said DEEP confirmed that under the state legislation, the town can direct people to drop of waste oil at HAZWASTE rather than provide the service in town.

Portley said there is too much exposure for the town to try and keep disposing of the waste oil on its own. He said there could be up to eight tests needed to prove the oil is clean and it just makes more sense to direct residents to HAZWASTE.

“I think it’s a good time for people to realize that they can get rid of any hazardous material in their households at no charge,” he said. “…I have done it for years. You change the oil on your snow blower and you collect it, you don’t take it every time to the place. I suggest people do that. Do what they have always done, collect the oil and then some Saturday that it is convenient, take it into New Haven.”

Portley said the town only empties the waste oil collection tank two or three times a year so he doesn’t think this should cause too much of an inconvenience. First Selectman Matt Hoey agreed that this plan is the right move for the town.

“I agree with Jim’s assessment,” he said. “The liability is significant. I have always had some concerns about spills related to people getting rid of that here and then if DEEP is requiring you to test whether or not there are PCBs in it, that’s an expense.”

The BOS voted to stop the collection of waste motor oil and antifreeze. Waste oil and antifreeze can be disposed at HAZWASTE Central on Sargent Drive on Saturdays from May 5 to Oct. 27, 2018. There is no charge for disposal.


Zoe Roos covers news for Guilford and Madison for Zip06. Email Zoe at z.roos@shorepublishing.com.

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