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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Streets Department today was helping residents get rid of unwanted but hazardous waste that they had accumulated in their homes.

At a drop-off center on State Road in Northeast Philadelphia, there was quite a line of cars, pickup trucks, even city department vans as trained staff sorted each of the materials and bundles as they were unloaded.

In addition to the usual hazardous waste items such as paint, solvents, batteries, oil, and flammable liquids, there were dozens and dozens of TV monitors, personal computers, and printers, which technological advances make obsolete in a hurry.

haz waste day  tawa Philadelphias Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites Now a Computer and TV Graveyard

(Phila. Streets Department specialists sort hazardous materials for proper disposal. Credit: Steve Tawa)


Streets Department engineering supervisor Mark Draber expected to fill up an entire 40-foot tractor-trailer with just today’s haul.

“We’re trying to keep that stuff out of the waste stream and out of the landfills,” he explained.

Capt. Eric Snyder of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit had an officer on standby to deal with any containers of mystery substances.

“Some people just find things that they don’t know what’s in them, when they’re cleaning out a house, a garage, or a property,” Snyder tells KYW Newsradio.  “They bring it in just to be safe.”

Upwards of 500 vehicles were expected for this one-day drop-off, which is held several times a year at various Streets Department locations.

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