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Lexington Community Toxic Waste Reduction Initiative

Project Details

Year: 1998
Location: Lexington
Project Manager: Beverly Anderson, MPH
Partners: Department of Public Works

This project involved using the Minuteman Regional Household Products Disposal Facility as a TUR Communications Center, developing a Guide to Toxics Use Reduction for home and work, and creating a TUR curriculum for the elementary school children.

TUR Communications Center

In 1998 the Health Department and Department of Public Works used the Regional Minuteman Hazardous Waste Drop-of Center where residents of eight (no up to 23 towns) drop off everything from old paint and batteries to fluorescent lights and pesticides, as a Communication Center. Upon driving into the facility, residents view signs that promote the concept of using less toxics around the work and home. Town officials educated residents, municipal departments and local businesses on incorporation of toxics use reduction in their operations through a TUR Guide.

Excerpted from Lexington's Final TURN Grant Report. 6/19/98:

The average home produces at least 15-25 pounds of toxic materials and wastes each year, making the homeowner a major target for toxic use reduction (TUR) programs. In addition to using and producing toxics at home, however, the homeowner frequently uses toxic materials at work. Conveying the concept of TUR, however, has been done on a limited basis due to the difficulty of reaching this group and the focus of mainstream TUR programs at major industries.

The development of the Minuteman regional hazardous household products disposal facility in the Town of Lexington provided an opportunity to communicate with this audience on a large scale and routine basis.

The project involved using the facility, where residents of eight towns drop off everything from old paint and batteries to fluorescent lights and pesticides, as a communications center. Upon arriving at the Minuteman facility, residents drive up the short roadway to the drop-off area.

On the way, they view the five signs featured to the right that promote the concept of TUR.

Upon registration, all visitors receive an 8-page booklet that specifically addresses TUR in the home.

Beyond TURN

Subsequently, the Lexington Health Department conducted outreach to local food establishments on reducing routine pesticide applications and reducing overuse of harsh cleaners through a 2002 TURN Grant.

This page updated Thursday January 19 2012