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Hazel Park

April 23, 2014

Hazel Park celebrates eco-friendly habits

Save the city money by recycling on Earth Awareness Day May 3

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

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Hazel Park celebrates eco-friendly habits
During Hazel Park’s Earth Awareness Day in 2012, guests learned about eco-friendly habits. Pictured, Shelley O’Brien, the city manager’s management assistant, gives Diane Leach, of Hazel Park, a new recycling bin.

HAZEL PARK — Throwing recyclables in the trash is not only a waste of space in landfills and bad for the earth, but it’s also a waste of money for the city of Hazel Park.

As a member of the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority, or SOCRRA, Hazel Park earns money for recycling, which offsets their trash disposal costs, saving money that can be better spent on core services like public safety.

A golden opportunity to do some spring cleaning and recycle all kinds of items will be on May 3, when Hazel Park observes its own version of Earth Awareness Day.

From 10 a.m.-1 p.m., people can come to the Department of Public Works, 24211 Couzens, to recycle their old electronics — TVs, computers, radios, VCRs, cellphones and more — as well as expired or unneeded pharmaceuticals, paint cans with or without paint, and scrap metal.

There will also be free hot dogs, chips and refreshments, as well as exhibits on watershed awareness, the city’s animal shelter and the upcoming dog park at Karem Park, just north of the DPW facility where the recycling event is taking place.

For the recycling, a company called Vintage Tech, based out of Canton, will take the electronics to extract their precious metals.

“With computers, we recommend people take care of the hard drive beforehand, because the information is retrievable,” said Tom Jones, the city’s DPW supervisor. Jones noted that some people smash their hard drives while others take them to businesses that can wipe them clean.

The Hazel Park Police Department will be at the event handling pharmaceuticals.

“We started it last year, and it’s amazing how many people have old medications that are either expired or they don’t want them getting into the wrong hands,” Jones said. “And we don’t want them going down the drains, polluting our water system, either, so we started that event last year and we have an auxiliary officer who will man that pharmaceutical drop, and then take care of properly disposing those.”

No syringes should be brought in for recycling, he added.

Old paint cans and paint, whether the paint is wet or hardened, can be brought in for recycling. Paint is a hazardous waste that no one should ever pour down the drain or into the ground under any circumstances.

“The rest of the year, people can make an appointment with SOCRRA to dispose of paint there, but we wanted to make it a bit more convenient by offering them the chance to recycle their paint now,” Jones said.

There will also be a bin for scrap metal, should anyone have some lying around in their yard or home that they want to clear out.

Ed Klobucher, city manager of Hazel Park, said he strongly encourages all residents to take advantage of this recycling opportunity.

“There is a huge environmental component for recycling, obviously. It is much better for the environment and makes for a much more sustainable society,” Klobucher said. “But beyond that, the city receives money for recycling that helps us control our costs. The millage we levy for garbage removal is not what it used to be. … If we can improve our recycling, that would at least help us control those costs in the future, so we don’t have to increase the fee.

“It costs us money to throw out trash, while recycling pays us money,” Klobucher said. “There are so many reasons to recycle, and no good reasons not to.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.