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Where do you throw the lice shampoos?

By Phil Melnychuk
Octoboer 25, 2006;  Maple Ridge News

By Nov. 1, you'll no longer have to drive to the recycle depot in Port Coquitlam to drop off your toxic pesticides, barbecue lighter fluid, furniture stripper or stale gasoline.

As of that date, chemical disposal can be done locally at the same time you drop off your plastics and cans at the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.

A change in the agreement between Maple Ridge and the society now allows the materials to be dropped off at the depot just off River Road in Albion.

It's an extension of a program already operating in other cities by the Product Care Association. Once a bin gets full, it will be sent to Surrey where the liquids will be separated, inspected and either recycled, reused or destroyed.

For pesticides, such as 2,4-D or Malathion, that means trucking them in secure packaging to a special waste handling facility where they're incinerated such as in Swan Hills, Alta.

Flammable liquids can be blended into a fuel for industry, such as in cement kilns, while most metal and paint containers are recycled.

Old paint is also processed at the centre. Oil-based paints are redistilled to recover solvents for making asphalt. Latex paints are used as a raw material for concrete products.

Being able to recycle pesticides has been a long time arriving in Maple Ridge, said Kim Day, acting manager of the recycling depot.

"We do expect to get a lot because our residents have been asking for this for quite some time," she said.

But she cautioned, do not bring such materials before Nov. 1 because the depot simply doesn't have the storage capacity.

If people do arrive before then, they'll have to return home with the chemicals and bring them back after Nov. 1, when the bins arrive.

Day said with local collection of these hazardous wastes, there's less chance the poisons will be left in the general waste stream at the transfer station.

"Our concern was that people were not taking it to Port Coquitlam and they were just dropping it at the transfer station and it was ending up in the landfill," Day said.

The program is funded by the manufacturers as a result of provincial legislation requiring such recycling.

Maple Ridge is currently considering a bylaw that would ban the use of cosmetic pesticides on residences.