The Department of Public Works is conducting a hazardous waste and computer/electronic equipment collection event on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Pierce College. (Victory Blvd. & Mason Ave. – Parking Lot #4)
Now is the time to clean out the garage, the basement, the closets and to look for the hazards that so often are taken for granted. Take a look around your home and look under the sinks.
Each year, thousands of people are injured by products in their homes. Accidental poisoning can happen if a product is left within reach of a small child. It can also occur when food, drink, or cigarettes are used while handling hazardous products. Many products have fumes or vapors that can irritate lungs. Hazardous products have caused severe burns, illness, blindness, and even death.
When hazardous household products are no longer usable or wanted, they become household hazardous wastes. Household hazardous wastes make up only a small percentage of household waste, but they are a serious problem.
When disposed of improperly, they pose a threat to sanitation workers and the environment. Household hazardous wastes discarded in the trash may ignite or explode in the collection truck. Trash haulers have been injured from fumes and splashing chemicals. In the landfill, these wastes can leach into surface water and groundwater — the sources for our drinking water.
Disposal of household hazardous wastes down the drain can also pollute drinking water.
In septic systems, hazardous wastes can kill the organisms that make the system work. This may cause untreated wastes to drain into the soil and eventually seep into the groundwater.
Sewage treatment plants have been damaged by household hazardous wastes, resulting in the release of raw sewage and chemicals into streams. Storm drains, which are often used improperly for dumping, are a direct route to nearby waterways. Anything that is poured on the ground may spread or runoff the next time it rains.
Because of the dangers they pose, household hazardous products require special handling and disposal. Our health and environment are at stake, so it is important that each of us take responsibility for the products we use.
The Collection Event accepts paint and solvents, used motor oil and filters, anti-freeze, automotive fluids, cleaning products, pool and garden chemicals, aerosol cans, unused medicine auto batteries, household batteries, florescent tubes and bulbs, thermostats and mercury-contain gadgets.
They also accept computers, monitors, printers, network equipment, cables, telephones, televisions, microwaves, video games, cell phones, radios, stereos, VCRs and electronic toys.
Note that it is against the law to transport more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste to collection sites.