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Hazmat

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The waste is hazardous, but the accomplishment is healthy.

The Town of Smithtown marked a major milestone this week as it wrapped up its regular household hazardous waste collection event on April 23, clocking in a new record of more than 76 tons of hazardous materials being sent to safe disposal sites.

The event was held with help from Radiac Research Corporation in Brooklyn, which won the contract for the specialized and regulated event through a competitive bidding process, town officials said. Smithtown Supervisor Pat Vecchio (R) said the town paid $15,694 to run the event, but will be reimbursed one-half the cost by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The success of our household hazardous waste collection program continues to grow,” Vecchio said. “Participating in a household hazardous waste collection event allows people to clean out their garages and basements, and safely dispose of old chemicals. It also heightens awareness that not everything offered for sale is a good thing to buy and use around our homes and families.”

By the end of the April 23 event, Smithtown tallied 716 families participating, resulting in 152,905 pounds of household hazardous material being collected. The most notable items, the town said, included decades-old bottles of long banned pesticides. Additional materials included oil-based paints, gasoline, paint thinners, waste gases, degreaser, solvents, flammable solids, liquid and solid oxiders, acids, corrosives, miscellaneous toxic liquids and solids, lacquers and various toxic compounds.

The town holds events like this annually to help ensure safe and proper disposal of such hazardous materials. If disposed of improperly, they can be damaging to the environment or to human health.

Smithtown has been regularly hosting such events to residents since 2009. Over time, the town said, the amount of material collected has increased more than tenfold.

“We should all try to minimize or avoid buying toxic products in the first place,” Vecchio said.

The next Smithtown hazardous waste collection event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Municipal Services Facility located at 85 Old Northport Road in Kings Park.

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A toxic one-gallon bottle of sodium hydrochlorite spilled in a FedEx car in Huntington village on Wednesday, impairing the driver’s ability to breathe.

At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Huntington Fire Department received a call from the Suffolk County Police Department regarding a hazardous materials incident on Green Street, according to Huntington Fire Department Chief Robert Berry. The department responded to the scene along with the Town of Islip HAZMAT TEAM. The team was able to secure the material.

The Fedex truck was carrying four one-gallon bottles of sodium hydrochlorite, an additive used in cleaning supplies, when one of the bottles opened and leaked in the truck.

The driver was transported to Huntington Hospital, Berry said, after having difficulty breathing.

FedEx didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment this week.

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