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It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we take advantage of it – Community Sponsored Hazardous Waste collection. Once or twice a year my county provides a place to take items like pesticides, paint, medications, old electronics, etc. Jim and I save these items throughout the year and take them to the collection place on the appointed date. It takes a bit of organization to have a holding place in the house for the respective items, to notice the date, and then to remember to do it (if we are in town). Ideally, communities would have a collection site open every day or at least on a weekly basis (perhaps every weekend). Still, it is good that this happens at all.

We contributed:

  • 56 batteries
  • 2 printer cartridges
  • 2 garden pesticides
  • 13 light bulbs
  • 2 printers
  • 1 computer tower
  • 1 projector

The need is great and the people are willing. This is evidenced by the long line of cars waiting to drop off their hazardous waste. The actual drop off was very efficient (about 5 minutes with lots of helpful volunteers) but we waited in traffic for about 30 minutes to get to the drop off point. You’d think with this many people eager to do the right thing that the sponsors would do it more frequently. Although local communities differ in what they collect and when, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives an overview of what constitutes hazardous waste with links to local resources.

How does your community handle hazardous waste?