Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 14, 2014

Town e-waste effort is ended

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Collection of electronic waste at Lockport Town Hall ended with a Sunday fire that destroyed a storage shed.

Now residents are being encouraged to take their items to Niagara County Redemption Center, 4022 Lake Ave., a private recycling business in Wrights Corners. The center is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sundays.

The town had been collecting electronics in a small 10-by-16 wooden shed south of the town hall on Dysinger Road, until a fire broke out just before 5 p.m. Sunday and destroyed the shed and stored items, mostly televisions. Rapids Volunteer Fire Co. responded and put the fire out in minutes.

Town council member Patricia Dufour said investigation suggests the fire was triggered by corroded batteries in a discarded electronic good. Rapids firefighters saw a number of boxes with batteries in a corner of the shed, she said. The belief is the batteries had gotten wet, became corroded, then caught fire as the temperature rose Sunday.

One of the challenges of the recycling shed was that the town didn’t have the manpower to assign someone to monitor it. Often, the shed would fill up with electronics, so some items were left just outside of the structure.

That, as well as the lack of a fire accelerant, the time and proximity to a State Police barracks on Dysinger, suggests arson wasn’t a cause, Dufour said.

The items were left by residents to be recycled and the town no longer receives money for recycling, Supervisor Marc Smith said, so the town isn’t affected financially other than by the loss of the shed itself. The town used the shed as a drop-off center for residents trying to recycle electronics, since state law now prohibits their disposal at curbside.

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