Cliffs offers hazardous waste collection

PALMER – Trash receptacles were filling up quickly earlier this week at the Empire Mine during the third annual Hazardous Waste Collection Days run by Cliffs Natural Resources Michigan Operations.

During the three-day collection, Cliffs employees had the opportunity to get rid of their household hazardous waste properly to protect groundwater and surface water from improper disposal. In 2012, more than 84,000 pounds of household hazardous material were collected during the event.

“This is very important for us – just another way to foster environmental stewardship,” said Jennifer L. Huetter, Cliffs district manager of public affairs.

Examples of waste material collected at the Empire Mine included batteries, small appliances and expired medications. Huetter said even Latex paint was to be collected, an item that’s not considered hazardous but is recyclable.

Tires also were accepted. Huetter said last year, more than 3,000 were brought in, and tires were piling up again this year.

“This bin was empty this morning,” Huetter said. “Now it’s pretty much filled. They’ve moved over into truck No. 2.”

Huetter said collection times were scattered to accommodate different shifts.

Robert Thayer, a driver for Cliffs, helped at the Empire collection.

“It’s always nice to keep it clean,” he said.

Huetter said the Environmental Recycling Group based in Livonia will haul away the collected items.

Collections were also scheduled at the Tilden Mine and Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.