It all began on a spring day in 1993 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center parking lot. The first household chemical collection day sponsored by any local government in Acadiana was coordinated by the city of Lafayette and Lafayette Parish Government three years prior to consolidation of the two then-separate forms of government. "Bring it Back" was the name given to the event, and 350 cars came out to drop off 26 tons of old paint, poison, and chemical cleaners, according to Lafayette Consolidated Government Environmental Quality Manager Mark Pope.
The chemical collections were held the first 12 years of the program at Lafayette Consolidated Government’s vehicle maintenance facility, located one block off of Pinhook Rd. at 400 Dorset Ave. "With each successive year, the traffic flow got heavier. We could reasonably accommodate 300-350 cars at a collection event at vehicle maintenance, but the last two events at this location consisted of 906 and 1,000 cars that came to drop chemicals," Pope said. Traffic from the last drop-off events at Dorset Ave. was backed up entirely down the half-mile stretch of Dorset, and the traffic backlog was 10-12 cars deep on both lanes of Pinhook Rd., accessing Dorset Ave. The traffic backlog at vehicle maintenance prompted officials with Consolidated Government to contact the University of Louisiana about using the Cajun Field Parking lot to stage the chemical collection event.
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