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Recycling depot owner lamenting erratic and erroneous disposals

The owner of a recycling depot that opened its doors in Queens County last October is becoming increasingly frustrated by residents dropping off items at random times, including those items that are disallowed.

Shelley Zinck, owner of Queen’s Enviro Centre on Sandy Cove Road in Brooklyn, said the “clincher” was August 28.

“It was about 10 minutes after we closed, and I was still inside. A car pulled in, and without slowing down he rolled his window down, threw stuff out, then took off.”

She’s concerned something might get tossed through her glass garage door, dent her new steel door, or get scattered all over the yard.

While the depot has security cameras, Zinck complained, “The problem is once one person dumps then someone drives by and thinks they can dump off whenever they want. Then it becomes an issue.”

Part of the condition of being able to set up the depot in Queens at that location is that the yard was to be kept clean. According to Zinck, one of her employees takes it upon himself to clean up anything he spots where it shouldn’t be as he drives by on the weekend, however, she said, “he shouldn’t have to be doing that, especially since we have signs up.”

Moreover, many of the items being dropped off, typically on weekends, are not accepted by the centre, leaving Zinck and her staff stuck with disposing of them.

While electronics are accepted, not everything that plugs in is an acceptable recyclable electronic product.

“There are certain items that can go under the electronic recycling program and others are not,” said Zinck, explaining that while televisions, radios, computers, microwave ovens and telephones are accepted, toasters and dehumidifiers are not.

Meanwhile, people are also dropping off tar-based materials and oils, which are hazardous waste, along with propane tanks, all of which have to go to landfill.

Zinck urges residents who may be uncertain as to what is acceptable to contact the depot or visit the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) website for information.

Queen’s Enviro Centre is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The centre accepts a wide variety of items including all refundables, paint cans (full or empty), spray paint cans and certain electronics. The centre is also willing to pay for non-ferrous metals and automotive batteries.
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