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Projects Database

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program And Pollution Prevention Assessments

Project Information

Award Amount:$139,839.00
Dollars Leveraged:$8,660.00
Start-End Dates:10/1/93-9/30/96
Description:Summary: This project focused on waste collection and technical assistance in the Michigan,
Minnesota and Wisconsin portions of the Lake Superior Basin.

Collection: The purpose of this project was to provide Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Lake Superior basin homeowners and users of agricultural products a means to dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste and unusable agricultural pesticides. By providing this service at no cost to the participants, it assured that the materials collected would be recycled or disposed in an environmentally safe manner, thus avoiding the possible environmental consequences of improper disposal.

Environmental Results/Products: Local contact agencies put out educational information on the need for the project, and the times, locations and types of materials eligible for collection. This included newspaper articles or advertisements, radio and television spots, and informational bulletins distributed by local recycling or environmental groups. The publicity and information distribution added greatly to the success of this project.

Staff collected more than five semi-truck loads of hazardous wastes. The wastes collected at the five central collection/assembly areas (Duluth, Marquette, Houghton, Ironwood, and Escanaba) included 455 pounds (lbs.) of mercury (including lab pack solutions, lab pack solids and elemental), 8,999 lbs. loose pack pesticide liquids (dioxins <30%), and 1,017 lbs. of florescent bulbs.

Pollution Prevention Assessments: More than forty retired engineers, scientists, and other professionals were hired through the Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) and trained to conduct on-site waste reduction assessments for local businesses and Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) whose discharges affect Lake Superior. RETAP staff provided specific guidance to industries and businesses to reduce the release of toxins. These retired professionals were located throughout the State and represented diverse industrial and occupational disciplines. Their extensive experience garnered respect and receptivity among Michigan businesses and institutions. All pollution prevention activities were closely coordinated with the local POTWs.

Environmental Results/Products: After detailed on-site assessments, RETAP staff identified problems and opportunities to reduce waste and achieve cost savings for the facilities. The assessments were free, voluntary, nonregulatory, and confidential. RETAP conducted 26 preassessments and 14 full assessments at 10 industries and 16 institutions. The types of industries assessed included wastewater treatment, metals/machinery fabrication, wood products, corrugated medium, solid waste management, automotive, and pulp and paper. The types of institutions assessed included hospitals and schools—elementary, high school, community college, and university. Industrial and institutional organizations continue to request
additional assessments beyond the scope of the funded project. Potential annual cost savings from RETAP recommendations ranged from $10,000 to $1.5 million per company.

Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP)


There are no reports associated with this project.

Funding Organizations

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.

U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office - Primary Contact

77 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, Illinois 60604
There are no individuals in this organization
associated with this project.

Organizations Receiving Funding

Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality - Primary Contact

Environmental Science & Services Division
PO Box 30457
Lansing, Michigan 30457
p: 800-662-9278
Individual Contacts

Associated Organizations

Below is a list of associated organizations that are NOT giving or receiving funding for this project.

Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) - Partner

Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality
PO Box 30457
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7957
p: 800-662-9278


Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
One East Hazelwood Drive Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-8940

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