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County scrambling to boost Clean Sweep numbers PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:21

Officials concerned about lagging registrations just a week away from revived disposal program


    Having convinced the Ozaukee County Board to fund a Clean Sweep program, officials are now working to persuade residents to participate in a revived effort to provide an environmentally safe way to dispose of household hazardous waste.
    About 150 people — less than half of the 400 people the county hoped would participate — have registered for the Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, collection, Andy Holschbach, director of the county’s Land and Water Management Department, which is organizing the event, said this week.
Daily Press    “We have a long way to go,” he said.
    Registration and a $20 fee for each vehicle-load of materials is required to drop off household hazardous waste, and because of the tepid response to the program, the deadline has been extended to Thursday, June 8.
    Residents will be able to drop off waste and tires at the county Highway Department, 410 S. Spring St., Port Washington, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 10.
    Farmers and small business operators can drop off waste and tires from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 9.
    To register and pay online, go to www.cleansweep.co.ozaukee.wi.us. Residents can also print a registration form on the website and mail it and a check payable to Ozaukee County to the Land and Water Management Department, 121 W. Main St., Room 223, Port Washington, 53074. In addition, forms are available at the department’s office.
    Registration is not required to drop off tires, although there are fees based on tire size.
    The collection is open to all county residents except those from the City of Port Washington, who are able to dispose of household hazardous waste every Monday at the Veolia facility in Port Washington. City residents are, however, able to drop tires off at the county collection.
    Holschbach said the drop-off is designed to be quick and easy.
    “People don’t even need to get out of their cars,” he said. “All you have to do is pull into a Highway Department shed and pop the trunk. People from Veolia will be there to take it out of your car and dispose of it properly.”
    Generally, materials such as oil-based paint, adhesives, solvents, pesticides and insecticides will be accepted. A complete list can be found on the Clean Sweep website.
    Materials that will not be accepted include latex paints and stains, compressed gas cylinders and propane tanks, motor oil and ammunition.
    The county, which in 2016 was among only 18 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that didn’t have a Clean Sweep collection, resurrected funding for the program by voting last year to include it in the 2017 budget at the urging of then-Supr. Richard Bauzenberger of Mequon.
    “The counties that don’t offer Clean Sweep programs are fostering practices that are harmful to the environment,” he said last year.
    Bauzenberger said at the time that his constituents asked him why the county doesn’t offer an affordable and safe way for them to dispose of hazardous materials.
    The answer was money. Funding for the program had been cut years earlier.
    “The program isn’t cheap, but neither is disposing of household hazardous waste,” Bauzenberger said. “If you buy a gallon of oil-based paint and have a little left over, you can spend three times what the paint cost just to get rid of it. That’s a disincentive for people to dispose of household hazardous waste properly and safely.”
    The program costs $50,000 annually. The county has budgeted $35,000 and received a $14,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.
    Holschbach noted the county is committed to making the Clean Sweep an annual event.
    “We want a good, long-term program so people can plan to dispose of their waste responsibly,” he said.