Biannual hazardous waste disposal event sees huge turnout this year

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City’s biannual Hazardous Waste Disposal Event last month recorded a huge turnout.

More than 1,100 vehicles passed through the Central States Fairgrounds, with lines extending farther beyond.

Around 5,000 gallons of materials were brought in by residents. While items like aerosols, antifreeze, and pest control sprays were brought in, this year latex paint was added to the list.

City officials were grateful for the patience and cooperation exhibited by those dropping off materials. The event was originally scheduled to go from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, but the amount of people dropping off material had them staying longer.

“We actually had people lining up at the gate at 6:45 in the morning. So there were early risers, they knew we were going to be busy. And we unfortunately had to cut off the line because we were so busy,” Ria Harper, Solid Waste Education and Outreach Coordinator said.” We even stayed a couple extra hours. But with the amount of people that came in, it was just insane. It was way more than we ever expected.”

Hazardous waste contains toxic and dangerous chemicals that are dangerous to the environment.

“We don’t want it dumped in the ground. If it is snuck into through the trash and it makes its way here, if it gets put up into the landfill. Again it can leak down. We don’t want it in the water system,” she explained. “And even flammable liquids. we don’t want that up in the pit because it could start a fire.”

During the event, food and money donations were being collected by feeding South Dakota. They collected enough money and food products to provide over 10,000 meals to residents in need.

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