Hazardous waste collections

MARIETTA – Raid the garage for those unused cans of paint, motor oil, and antifreeze. Grab those unused insecticides, cleaners, solvents out from under the kitchen sink. Rustle up those long expired prescription pills.

Washington County’s biennial Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is Saturday.

The event, which first launched in 1991, provides a free opportunity for residents to send their toxic household products away for safe disposal or recycling rather than throwing them in the trash, where they could ultimately contaminate soil and water.

This year’s event is slated for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Solvay Employees Park, said Rob Reiter, coordinator for the South Eastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District.

The district sponsors the event along with the Responsible Care Group of Washington County, which is made up of Americas Styrenics, Kraton Polymers and Solvay Advanced Polymers, said Reiter.

Some common products taken at the event include unused paint, automobile fluids, pharmaceuticals, herbicides, insecticides and various other toxic household items, he said.

However, there are certain products not accepted at the event.

“We ask people not to bring empty or dried out paint cans. Those kind of things, just throw them in the trash. Putty solids and adhesives, those can go right in the trash,” Reiter explained.

He also stressed that the event is solely for household items. Items from painting contractors, industrial manufacturers and commercial enterprises will be turned away, he said.

The items dropped off at the event will be transported back to the Cincinnati-based Environmental Enterprises, Inc’s hazardous waste treatment and storage facility for sorting, neutralizing, and recycling, said Reiter.

“I’d estimate between 75 to 90 percent of this material is recovered. It makes fuel,” he said.

In past years, upward of 1,000 people have dropped items off during the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection day.

The materials gathered often fill two-and-a-half to three semis, and the event costs $35,000 to $55,000 to sponsor, said Reiter.

Participating residents are reminded not to bring appliances or electronics to the event. Separate events for the collection of those items are scheduled for later in the year.

Appliance collection is tentatively scheduled for May 3, computer and television collection for Aug. 4 to 6, and tire collection for Oct. 18. Those collections will take place at the Washington County Garage at 1405 Colegate Drive.

Ohio University, in conjuncture with the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District and Accurate IT, is sponsoring an upcoming event for electronics recycling. Electronics Recycling Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Ohio University.

The event is not just for OU students, said Jennifer Krisch, the college’s senior communications specialist.

“It’s for the whole community,” she noted.

According to a press release about the event, anything with componentry or a plug is acceptable. The only charge will be for those dropping off tube containing (non-flat screen) televisions and monitors. Those items will have a $20 cash fee.

Those unable to the upcoming events can take advantage of one of the other Household Hazardous Waste Collection days held in surrounding counties covered by the South Eastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management District.