Fenton — On Saturday, June 8, dozens of vehicles lined up on Donaldson Drive at Fenton High School for the local Genesee County Recycle Day. Their vehicles were laden with old tires, cans of paint and unwanted electronics.
“These are items that are difficult to get rid of, and we’re doing it in such a way that is environmentally friendly,” said Cody Roblyer, planning specialist with the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission (GCMPC).
Items like large non-flat screen computer monitors aren’t taken by many electronic recyclers because of the lead and toxic materials inside, however, they were accepted Saturday.
This is the first time in several years that a Genesee County Recycle Day has been held in the tri-county area. According to the Roblyer, the day was successful, with 1,362 vehicles coming through.
It takes a couple weeks to get detailed results back for a recycle day, but in 2018, 160,000 pounds, or 80 tons was collected at a comparable recycling event in Grand Blanc.
“Every year it seems like it’s more popular,” Roblyer said.
Residents also seemed to appreciate the service, often thanking the workers as they pulled materials from their vehicles or trailers, putting them on carts for sorting.
Those dropping off items drove their vehicles through the parking lot in two lanes with various stations and several attendants per station. The first stations were for household hazardous waste. This included anything with mercury, oils, gasoline, medications and batteries.
While paint was included in this “department,” the amount was enough to warrant its own area.
They also collected a large volume of electronics, which included TVs, computers and cell phones.
A separate trailer area was set up for collecting passenger vehicle tires.
The GCMPC handles suburban sites, while the city of Flint handles its own site. The GCMPC contracts with ERG Environmental Services (Environmental Waste Management and Remediation) to handle the operation. Roblyer said it costs between $50,000 and $60,000 for the service. ERG sorts all the materials and prepares a detailed list of what was turned in to them.
In 2018 160,000 pounds was collected. Of this amount, 100,000 was
from hazardous household materials, such as flammable liquids, aerosol cans, acidic products, batteries, mercury, fluorescent light bulbs and medical waste and sharps.
Electronics including TVs accounted for approximately 60,000 pounds of last year’s waste. They also collected 1,000 tires last year. Roblyer estimates that 1,300 tires were dropped off at the Fenton event.
He said that approximately 90 percent of the materials are recycled. Latex paints can be used to make more paint. Electronics are broken down to the components to recycle the valuable metals inside.
A small percentage of items end up the landfill.
If you missed this event
There are several Tuesday collections events held at Mott Community College, lot S.
Dates: July 9, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10
Address: 156 Albert R. Horrigan Dr., Flint
Times: 2 to 6 p.m.
The final Saturday collection is Oct. 12. It will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. concurrently at two locations.
• Clio High School,
(enter front Tuscola Road)
1 Mustang Drive, Clio
• Flint Water Service Center,
3310 East Court St., Flint