ISHPEMING - Cliffs Natural Resources employees have the opportunity this week to unload trash and waste that isn't always so easy to clear away - household hazardous waste.
The mining company is sponsoring a week of household hazardous waste collection, with a different location at its Michigan Operations each day./ The collections are available to employees of the Empire and Tilden mines and the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. The collection began Tuesday at the Empire Mine in Palmer.
"At Cliffs, being a good environmental steward is one of our values," said Jennifer Huetter, district manager of public affairs for Cliffs in Michigan. "A lot of people have that stuff at their homes where you just don't know what to do with it."
Employees of Ohio-based Environmental Recycling Group sort household hazardous waste and tires from Cliffs Natural Resources on Tuesday at the Empire Mine. Cliffs is giving its employees the opportunity to safely and properly dispose of household hazardous waste this week with waste collection drop-offs at several locations around its Michigan Operations. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Items accepted at the hazardous waste collection include the usual paints, fuels, oils, herbicides and pesticides. In addition to those items, however, Cliffs employees can also drop off used tires, old prescription medications and electronic materials and appliances - including televisions, computers and refrigerators.
"We're accepting a lot of things you don't usually find at collections," Huetter said.
This is the second year Cliffs has sponsored a hazardous waste collection, contracting with Ohio-based Environmental Recycling Group. The company handles the collection, recycling and disposal of the materials.
In 2011, the collection yielded more than 68,000 pounds of materials and about 1,600 tires. That total included two full semi trucks of used electronic items.
On Tuesday, more than 800 tires had been collected by mid-day.
"It's very convenient," Huetter said.
Because so many Cliffs employees work shifts, the collection runs from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., giving all employees access to the drop off point for the day during collection week.
"There's been a really good turnout so far," Huetter said.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.