LA County collects SCV residents’ unwanted household, electronic waste

Workers, wearing protective suits, move a pallet of hazardous waste for recycling as part of the County of Los Angeles Countywide Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Collection Program held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

A line of cars could be seen down Rockwell Canyon Road outside College of the Canyons as residents dropped off unwanted, hazardous household and electronic waste on Saturday.

“At these events, we take e-waste, so pretty much all kinds of electronics,” said Luis Llerena, event supervisor at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and Sanitation Districts. “So pretty much all kinds of electronics, we take used motor oil, we take old paint, we take expired medication. We also accept sharps, which are basically diabetic syringes, medical syringes, EpiPens (and) lancets.”

By 11 a.m., close to 600 people dropped off materials, some loaded in specific boxes while others were placed in bins, including specific red container to hold syringes and other medical items. Volunteers wearing necessary Tyvek clean suits, white garments protecting them from any chemicals, split up electronics and hazardous materials. Each of those on duty had gone through Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, or HAZWOPER, training.

A worker throws a piece of electronic equipment into a box for recycling as part of the County of Los Angeles Countywide Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Collection Program held at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The roundup did not accept explosive items, large appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, ammunition, biohazardous materials, stoves or controlled substances. Llerena said they expected about 1,750 loads of hazardous materials being dropped off. One load consisted of either 15 gallons of liquids or 125 pounds of solid items.

Saugus resident Hugo Acevedo stopped by to drop off tar and some paint.

“This is better than people just dumping it onto the streets or into the ocean or anything that goes into the landfill,” he said.

This roundup is one of several events across LA County, of which the full calendar can be found at cleanla.com.

“It’s a free event that is co-sponsored by the LA County Department of Public Works and LA County Sanitation,” Llenera said. “The reason that these events are important is it provides people a free means of disposing of their hazardous waste so that it doesn’t end up in landfills, it doesn’t end up being poured down the storm drain, it’s not disposed of in a hazardous way. This way, it’s being disposed of in a controlled and purposeful fashion.”

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About the author

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini covers local news for The Signal. He joined in 2018 and previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Sundial, Scene Magazine and El Nuevo Sol while enrolled as a student at California State University, Northridge, where he studied journalism and political science. He's lived in Santa Clarita since 2002.