What’s up with Summit’s annual hazardous waste collection day?
if you go
What: Summit County HHW materials collection event
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Summit Stage Bus Barn in Frisco, across from the County Commons.
Info: Accepted household hazardous waste items include paints, stains, pesticides, fertilizers, cleansers, solvents, adhesives and mercury thermometers and switches. Materials must be in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Electronics include TVs, computers, tablets, copiers and fax machines, printers, and other large devices. All personal information and hard drives will be destroyed by Electronics Recyclers International before processing. The event is free. Textiles, old clothes and fabrics, will not be accepted at this year’s county event, but the Town of Frisco will collect textiles during Town Clean Up Day. Visit the town’s website to learn more. Other items NOT accepted at this year’s event include waste oil and antifreeze, light bulbs, batteries, and appliances. Those items can be taken to SCRAP during regular business hours. Items not accepted at the SCRAP or the event include explosives, ammunition, infectious waste, propane tanks and radioactive materials.
Will you be having the annual recycling event for household hazardous waste and electronics again this year?
— Steven, Frisco
Steven, what perfect timing for your question. The annual special recycling event will be between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday despite the cancellations of Town Clean Up Day events around the county. You can bring your household hazardous waste, or HHW, electronics, and unused medications to the Summit Stage Bus Barn in Frisco, across from the County Commons. Best of all, it’s totally free. Now, let’s talk more about why it’s important to properly dispose of these hazardous materials.
First and foremost, toxic materials should never be dumped down a drain, flushed down the toilet or thrown out in the trash. Once that material ends up in our waterways or loose in the landfill, it can cause major problems both for public safety and for the environment.
What is HHW?
Many products commonly found in homes contain hazardous ingredients. They are in products made for cleaning, painting, staining, beautifying, healing or disinfecting, and they may be used in the house, yard, garage or even on your body. All products should be used, stored and disposed of responsibly.
Read the labels of the products in your home. Words like poison, toxic, corrosive, volatile, flammable, inflammable, combustible, explosive, danger, caution, warning or harmful are signs that the contents are hazardous. Be careful where you choose to store these products, as pets and children can easily be accidentally exposed. Do not mix products either. Who knows what kind of new and dangerous concoction will emerge from combining materials.
To ensure that you don’t have a lot of extra HHW materials lying around the house, you want to plan carefully so that you don’t buy too much and then have leftovers. Proper planning in the beginning can save you the trouble and headache of having to store and dispose of these materials. If you do have leftover material, make sure these products are kept in sealed and corrosive-free containers and out of the reach of children.
There is also a new term called emerging contaminants, which includes pharmaceuticals, personal care products, cleaning agents and plastics. While these products haven’t yet amassed enough in our waterways to be considered pollutants, we are seeing increasing accumulation of these materials downstream. We must consider the end life of these products and determine alternative recycling and disposal practices that support a healthy environment and protect public safety.
So now that you know which products in your home are classified as HHW and emerging contaminants, what do you do with them? Here in Summit County, we’re lucky to have a program that takes those materials for free so there’s no excuse for improper disposal. The Summit County Resource Allocation Park on Landfill Road, just outside of Keystone, accepts HHW material and electronics Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During the collection event for HHW materials, electronics and unused medications on Saturday, accepted household hazardous waste items will include paints, stains, pesticides, fertilizers, cleansers, solvents, adhesives and mercury thermometers and switches. Materials must be in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Electronics include TVs, computers, tablets, copiers and fax machines, printers and other large devices. All personal information and hard drives will be destroyed by Electronics Recyclers International before processing.
Old clothes and fabrics will not be accepted at this year’s county event. Other items not accepted at this year’s event include waste oil and antifreeze, light bulbs, batteries and appliances. Those items can be taken to SCRAP during regular business hours. Items not accepted at the SCRAP or the event include explosives, ammunition, infectious waste, propane tanks and radioactive materials.
Since the Safety First Fund’s inception in 2015, we have held three special collection events, properly disposing of over 400 tons of E-waste, 109 tons of HHW and over 350 pounds of medications. Way to go, Summit County.
For more information about HHW and electronics disposal, or to help as a volunteer at the May 20th event, visit HighCountryConservation.org.
Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at email@example.com.
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