Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

The Clatsop County Household Hazardous Waste Program addresses the management and disposal of home hazardous waste in the county. The program is the work of several years of collaboration with Western Oregon Waste, city municipalities and community organizations.

Each year the program holds an annual household hazardous waste collection event alternating between north and south county.

The next event is scheduled for:
DATE: Saturday, May 3, 2014
TIME: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
PLACE: 1387 Ave. U, Seaside

The Household Hazardous Waste collection event will:

  • Provide a means for proper disposal of hazardous toxic wastes;
  • Remove unwanted wastes from homes reducing exposure and injury from hazardous chemicals;
  • Eliminate hazardous waste going into our residential garbage, thereby reducing the danger to waste collectors and sanitation workers;
  • Increase awareness of the common hazardous materials found in most homes, how these products can impact human health and the environment;
  • Provide education on alternative green products that are available reducing the use of dangerous, hazardous materials in the homes.

MATERIAL ACCEPTED

  • Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides
  • Paints, stains, solvents
  • Poisons, hazardous cleaners
  • Art/hobby chemicals
  • Automotive/boat fluids
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Mercury-containing light tubes/bulbs and thermometers

The following WILL NOT be accepted:

  • Medications
  • Medical sharps
  • Explosives
  • Business or construction waste
  • Radioactive or asbestos material

AWARENESS
We all need to be more aware of how hazardous wastes present risks to humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Many home and yard products when not completely used up accumulate in our cabinets, garage shelves, or outdoor sheds exposing children and pets to toxic chemicals. Hazardous wastes should not be put down home drains, street storm water drains, discarded in the garbage or poured on the ground. The dangers of improper disposal may not be immediately obvious, but this pollutes our waters, places harmful chemicals in the sewage/septic systems that aren’t designed to remove chemicals, and exposes waste haulers and fire fighters needlessly to hazardous conditions.

Home hazardous wastes require special handling and safe disposal for everyone’s protection.

Household hazardous waste (HHW) is any solid or liquid product which is generated or used in a home that contains one or more of the following properties:

  • Flammable/Combustible: Can easily be set on fire or ignited
  • Explosive/Reactive: Can detonate or explode through exposure to heat, sudden shock or pressure
  • Corrosive/Caustic: Can burn and destroy living tissue
  • Toxic/Poisonous: Capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation or absorption
  • Radioactive: Can damage and destroy cells and chromosomal material

Major categories of HHW are cleaners; paints, stains, and thinner products; pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers; automotive or recreational boat fluids; arts and crafts related solvents and thinners; and rechargeable batteries to name a few.

Based on national data from collection programs, a typical breakdown of HHW is:

  • 50% paints and paint products
  • 20% used motor oil
  • 20% solvents, pesticides and herbicides
  • 10% batteries, unidentified materials and other miscellaneous items, such as old chemistry sets, photographic materials, and fiberglass epoxy

Other hazardous items to turn in for disposal are: Fluorescent and compact light bulbs or tubes, UV bulbs, neon lights, mercury thermometers.

DISPOSAL
In general, hazardous wastes collected at community events are either:

  • treated and neutralized to less hazardous form;
  • burned at high temperatures for destructive incineration;
  • burned for energy recovery; or
  • reused or recycled; or treated and disposed of at a licensed EPA/DEQ disposal facility.

Safe management of the collected waste will comply with all federal, state and local regulations. Clatsop County receives a manifest and inventory that identifies all the hazardous product collected and Certificates of Final Disposal.

ACTION WE ALL CAN TAKE
All of us can take action today to get rid os some products locally, all year round and help cut down on the volume of hazardous waste that requires special disposal.

  • Check out the Local Resource Guide.
  • Visit Paint Care for locations to dispose of home paints, stains and sealants.
  • Reduce the amount that may sit in your cupboards by purchasing only what you need.
  • Before buying, read the labels so that you can choose to purchase non-toxic products whenever possible.
  • Look into green alternative products and give them a try. Most work as well as toxic chemicals and are much safer.
  • When storing your hazardous products put them in a safe place away from children and pets, and keep them in their original containers.
  • Share unused product with a neighbor or friend to get rid of it all.

For additional information contact: Clatsop County Environmental Health Program at (503) 325-8500 or mtaylor@co.clatsop.or.us