Cliffs promotes proper waste treatment

18,000 Cliffs Natural Resources employees can get rid of their household hazardous waste through the company.

Cliffs Michigan Operations is hosting a “hazardous waste collection days” for its workers at the Empire Mine. The employees are given three days to bring in household materials and products that may harm the environment if they were thrown into a landfill.

“Environmental stewardship is a core value of the company and it’s very important to Cliffs Natural Resources. So for us to provide this kind of service that protects our environment is a good thing and it follows up with that core value,”  Cliffs Michigan District Public Affairs Manager Jennifer Huetter said.

Although this collection was not offered to the public, Cliffs understand the importance of disposing hazardous materials properly.

“Basically we’re collecting anything that may be hazardous in your home. So that could be prescriptions, oils, pesticides and chemicals. We’re also accepting a lot of that are not normally accepted at a household hazardous waste collection. Things like tires, latex paints, appliances, electronics. All of that is accepted,” Huetter said.

Last year, the collection totaled more than 84,000 lbs. of hazardous materials and some 3,000 tires were accepted as well. The goal of the program: proper treatment of these products prevent toxic chemicals from coming into contact with ground and surface waters, which are used by local residents.