The city’s newest project may not be as much fun as Hawaiian Falls or Big League Dreams, but Howard Redfearn has no doubt that it is going to draw a crowd.
The Environmental Collection Center will open Saturday, accepting household hazardous waste from Mansfield residents. For the past decade, Mansfield has held mobile collections, then sent the fluorescent light bulbs, used motor oil, paint cans, batteries and cooking oil to the Fort Worth hazardous collection center. Mansfield residents lined up to unload their hazardous items, sometimes even being turned away after the collection trailer was filled.
“The most we ever had to turn away was 60,” said Redfearn, the city’s environmental manager. “We had to call the police out.”
Redfearn said he only remembers twice in the past 10 years when the trailer did not fill up completely, once during Spring Break and once on the day of the Texas/Oklahoma football game.
“Even given our limited options, our participation is right up there with Fort Worth,” Redfearn said.
In 2014, 860 residents participated in the city’s three mobile collections, he said.
Now that the city has a building dedicated to collecting household hazardous waste for once-a-month collections, Redfearn figures that recycling will continue to grow. The new 5,000-square-foot facility at 616 S. Wisteria St. will get its first workout from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. The building is part of a 14-acre compound that includes a 39,000-square-foot administration center that houses utility field operations, utility administration staff, traffic and streets departments and building maintenance. A 38,000-square-foot vehicle and equipment center is also on the property. Twice-a-year beautification days, when residents can drop off bulky items, appliances, scrap metal, junk and trash, will be held on the property, too, starting this Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon. Brush and tree limbs are collected at 24 N. Mitchell Road.
The $10.5 million project, which started construction in May 2014, was paid for with drainage and utility funds, said Joe Smolinski, the city’s director of utilities. The city received $96,000 in Texas Commission on Environmental Quality funds to purchase a forklift, paint crusher and portable loading ramp, Redfearn said.
City staff will use a variety of contractors to recycle and dispose of the hazardous waste, Redfearn explained.
“We’re going to recycle or sell as much as possible,” he said.
Used paint cans will be crushed and the paint will be used as industrial fuel, for example. By January, he hopes to have a reuse center for usable items (like paint) that residents can have free.
“It has to be in the original container, like paint, cleaners, sometimes tools,” said David Macias, who will manage the Environmental Collection Center.
There are some things the Environmental Collection Center will NOT accept, Macias said. No medical waste, no explosives, no radioactive material, no propane tanks and no biohazardous material will be accepted, he said. And people MUST be Mansfield residents with a utility bill or driver’s license to drop off any waste, Macias said. No business or commercial waste will be accepted.
Redfearn is expecting a big turnout this weekend, but says things should settle down with once-a-month collections, which will be the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The next collection date will be Dec. 12.
“The plan is to get familiar with the operation and then the hours and operations will increase,” Redfearn said.
Beautification day drop-offs of trash will be held at the compound from now on, too, he said.
“It will be nice having one location where all those events happen,” Redfearn said.
Environmental Collection Center
616 S. Wisteria St.
8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 14