Tag Archives: Westport transfer station

Photo Challenge #246

There are a few places in Westport that nearly everyone goes to, at one time or other:

Compo Beach. Town Hall. And the transfer station (aka “the dump”).

So I’m surprised that only a few people recognized it, as Jo Shields’ Photo Challenge last week.

To be fair, her image did not really show the recycling facility. Instead, it was the sunflowers in front.

But when you’re there on a Saturday morning, i-n-c-h-i-n-g along, you get a good look at them. (Click here for the photo.)

Bob Grant, John Kantor, Krystof Bondar, Carol Hanks and Jonathan McClure correctly identified the site. Can they repeat this week?

If you know where in Westport you would see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Mark Jacobs)

September 21 Will Be A Hazardous Day

If you’re a typical Westporter, you’ve got stuff lying around your house.

You know: basic hazardous waste.

If you’d like to get rid of it 🙂 but have no idea how or where: Read on.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the Public Works Department holds its annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. The time is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the site is the Westport/Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane.

Better yet: It’s free.

As a regional program, it’s also open to residents of Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.

Many items used around the house are considered household hazardous wastes, because they may contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients. For example, check your:

Garage:  Gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, spray paint, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, degreasers, etc.  NOTE: All paints, stains, motor oil, antifreeze, batteries and light bulbs must be recycled at the transfer station (see below).

Garden shed:  Fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, etc.

General household:  Bleach, charcoal lighter, cleaning chemicals, drain cleaners, flammable liquids, mercury thermometers, moth balls, pet flea shampoos, rug shampoos, spot removers, art supplies and paints, etc.

Before bringing hazardous household items to the collection site:

  • Make sure items are clearly labeled. NEVER MIX CHEMICALS.  Incompatible products may react, ignite or explode, and mixed waste may become not be recyclable.
  • Keep products in original labeled container.
  • Place leaky containers in clear plastic bags.
  • Tighten lids of all containers, and pack items in sturdy cardboard boxes lined with newspaper.
  • Put boxes in the trunk or in the back of the vehicle away from passengers.
  • Leave pets and children home when bringing hazardous materials for collection.
  • Keep your windows open and drive directly to the collection site.
  • Do not smoke or eat while handling hazardous materials.

REMEMBER: Paint cannot be accepted. Westport residents should bring latex and oil-based paints, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac to the Westport transfer station (Sherwood Island Connector, weekdays, 7  a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 am to 12 noon).

The following items are also not acceptable at Household Hazardous Waste Day:  ammunition, flares, and commercial hazardous waste 😦

Questions? Call the Public Works Department: 203-341-1793.

Unsung Hero #59

Whenever Cindy Mindell stops by the transfer station, she hopes Bart “Bud” Valiante is there.

The array of trash choices — recyclables, household, electronics, metals, bulbs and batteries, etc. — is dizzying.

But, Cindy, says, “Bud is always cheerful, professional and helpful. He offers to carry stuff from my car, walks me to the correct disposal area, and explains why a particular material or item is or is not recyclable.

“He even puts my conscience at ease and expands my eco-knowledge by describing how non-recyclables are repurposed through burning at a waste-to-energy power plant.”

Bart “Bud” Valiante, helping at the transfer station as always. (Photo/Cindy Mindell)

That’s not all. The other day, Cindy told Bud that she was sleep-deprived and panicking because she was in the middle of a move.

He offered to haul items to Goodwill and the transfer station at no cost. He said he’s always happy to help a neighbor in need — and regularly does things like that before and after work.

Cindy did not take Bud up on his kind offer.

But, she says, “No matter how busy he might be when I arrive, he always stops to answer my questions and make sure that I put everything in its proper place.

“For that, for his dedication to his job and the environment, and his generosity of time and spirit, he is definitely an Unsung Hero.”

Dumping On Drivers

The Sherwood Island transfer station — aka “the dump” — is many things.

It’s a place to dispose of unwanted stuff — furniture, electronics, yard waste — in an environmentally sound way.

It’s a place to meet other Westporters. It’s a place for politicians to troll for votes.

It’s also become a place where the informal rules of social conduct are being, well, trashed.

Alert “06880” reader Steve Axthelm writes of this recent trend:

Instead of taking the next available space and keeping the line moving quickly on Saturdays, some drivers now ignore multiple available spots. They block the lane, waiting for the “perfect” spot.

Maybe we should have a reservation system, so you can be sure to cozy up to the metal dumping area, or save those 10 steps when recycling your cardboard.

But think how much time you save, on your way to your entitled parking spot at Starbucks!

Drivers wait for the “perfect” spot, instead of pulling in to the first available one. (Photo/Steve Axthelm)

Gotta Hand It To Our Dump

It may not be the only one of its kind in the country, but Westport’s dump could be the most interesting since Arlo Guthrie and Alice visited theirs that famous Thanksgiving years ago.

Consider:

  • We don’t call it a dump. It’s a “transfer station.”
  • Sure, there are trucks and Suburbans. But there are also plenty of Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedeses, plus the occasional Tesla, Maserati, Rolls and Bentley. All are driven by “normal” Westporters, trash in tow.
  • It may be the only dump transfer station that’s a regular stop for politicians stumping for votes, and non-profits to hand out flyers.

Now, add one more “only in Westport.” Is there another one anywhere with a hand sanitizing pump — and marketing materials?

(Photo/JP Vellotti)

(Photo/JP Vellotti)

 

 

 

Dumping On The Dump

Alert “06880” reader/frequent transfer station visitor Terry Brannigan writes:

We all know that the “transfer station” is the heart and soul of this town. As part of my social ambition, I try to get there on a regular basis. The other day I was dropping off trash from my parents’ house. Once again I was confounded by the rules.

Why is it that Westport taxpayers have to hump our heavy (and hopefully well separated) trash by hand to the side entrance and throw it over the wall, but commercial waste collectors and random contractors get to drive up to the hopper and empty their trucks?

I have a feeling town taxpayers are just as capable of driving up, dumping their trash and not falling in as the commercial truck drivers, landscapers, remodelers and other service professionals. Heck, we managed to make it to Westport.  

At the dump.

At the dump.

This is a critical issue for the “06880” nation to solve.  Remember the old transfer station by police headquarters? That crusher looked like a mechanical monster, yet we could drive up and dump. I don’t recall anyone ever falling into that hopper.  

It drives me nuts watching the guys who get paid to collect trash (in trucks often with non-Westport logos) drive up, while the people who pay them (and the taxes of the town) schlep heavy bags and boxes over to the great wall and hoist them over by hand.

What are your thoughts on the transfer station? Any suggestions? Click “Comments” — and please, use your full, real name.

From Town Hall To The Transfer Station…

…trees are coming down all over Westport.

Here’s the scene this morning, when an alert “06880” reader dropped off some recycling:

Transfer station

No word on whether the trees were dead. They sure were not going to fall on any power lines.

The next focus may be the beach. As a planning committee looks at reconfiguring Compo, some trees — perhaps near the drop-off and Soundview lot, on the grassy field or along the median between the shore and parking lots — may be reconfigured. As in, removed.

Nothing has been decided yet. Keep watching. This story has legs — and roots.

Westport: An Attractive Dump

Alert “06880” reader Lisa Hofmeister writes:

As a Westport resident for over 4 years, I have had an issue with Westport Waste Management for a while. After today’s incident I thought “06880” could broadcast it, and hopefully get some notice.

As I disposed of my trash I saw a white unmarked van with New York license plates pull up. Two 25-year old-ish men dressed in work clothes started to remove trash bags, a bathroom sink and countertop, dry wall, wooden baseboard, etc., and throw it all into our dump. There was no one nearby, so I went to the hut by the entrance to report them.

Westport transfer station

For a town that is so strict on summer beach passes, deer rights over residents, prohibiting dogs on the beach 6 months out of the year and making residents get approval to remove any vegetation on their property if wetlands are involved, I wondered why we are not more strict with our trash removal — something residents pay directly for.

It could be as simple as picking up a sticker for your car — just like the beach. Benefits would include reduced tax dollars, as residents and the town would not pay for non-resident trash removal. The town could also track how many residents use it versus private contractors.

I checked the town website (Public Works Department). Two sentences address who is eligible to use the transfer station: 

Westport residents are allowed to dispose of a variety of household items that includes furniture, carpeting, lamps, televisions and many other similar items. An area has been set aside for recycling household electronics.

The transfer station is frequently used by contractors working on Westport homes.

And, of course, by others. Including guys in vans with New York plates.

Transfer Station Blues

An alert “06880” reader — who wishes to remain anonymous, as will soon be clear — sent along these thoughts, after a trip to the transfer station:

So off I go to the dump with my garbage and recycles.

Today a new sign (I’ve been out of town] greets me: “NO PLASTIC BAGS.”

But all my recycles are securely bound in white plastic bags. Everything has been washed out pretty good, though there is still a bit of liquid in the bags. I guess I should rip them open (they never untie) and dump them into the pods, right?

Then take the plastic bags and put them in the green garbage can. Try not to get anything on my clothes. You know how those plastic bags like to cling to other plastics. Gotta do a shake and shake and shake. Very, very messy.

Look, they even have steps for me.

But alas, the steps lead to a closed door. I’ll go to another one.

Damn, same thing.

Oh well, I’ll keep going. Whoops, these steps are so far away I’ll have to take each item out and throw them in piece by piece.

These steps are a bit far...

Finally, steps that lead to a nearby open door. I can shake here for 15 minutes.

I wonder if all the trash collectors have to rip open every plastic bags they collect before they dump them. OMG, what a task. No way.

A non-environmental thought crosses my mind: Throw everything into the garbage pit like we did in the good old days.