Did you know that household chemical products should not be thrown in the garbage?
Chemical products put in the garbage wind up in the landfill and may eventually soak into the groundwater. In Thurston County, we drink groundwater, so that means you or someone else could end up drinking your toilet bowl cleaner or lawn mower oil. Yikes!
When these chemicals are put in the trash, they can spill and pose harm to waste collection workers. Or they may mix with other chemicals to create dangerous chemical reactions.
Many kinds of everyday household products are considered “hazardous waste,” if they include ingredients that pose dangers to human health or the environment. Some household hazard products are motor oil, weed killers, mothballs and oil-based paints.
So if you have these products in your cabinets, garage or storage shed and would like to get rid of them, what are you supposed to do? Take them to HazoHouse!
HazoHouse is a free drop-off site for unused household hazardous products at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center, 2420 Hogum Bay Road NE in Lacey. Gates are open daily from 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. except for Jan. 1, July Fourth, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
HazoHouse accepts many products. To determine whether a household product is considered hazardous, look for the words “poison,” “danger,” “warning,” or “caution” on the label.
The following items are accepted:
▪ Auto products (antifreeze, brake fluid)
▪ Motor oil and filters. Use the self-serve station at the recycle center.
▪ All batteries except standard alkaline. Limit of three car batteries per customer per day. Cover the contact points of the batteries with tape, or place each battery in its own plastic bag.
▪ Oil-based paint. HazoHouse does not accept latex paint.
▪ Thinners and solvents.
▪ Cleaning supplies.
▪ Glues and adhesives.
▪ Pool and hobby chemicals.
▪ Contaminated kerosene and gasoline.
▪ Fluorescent light tubes, yard light bulbs and their ballasts. Limit of 10 tubes or bulbs per day per customer and 15 ballasts per day per customer. No broken bulbs or light tubes taped together. Transport them in their original boxes, if possible.
▪ Propane containers (20-pound barbecue tanks or smaller). Limit of three propane tanks per day per customer. Accepted tanks include standard barbecue tanks; compact camp stove propane canisters (such as the green Coleman single-use fuel canisters); small, narrow propane cylinders used by plumbers and other contractors, such as Bernz-O-Matic branded single-use gas cylinders, which includes propane, MAPP gas and other gas combinations.
▪ Products containing mercury. Place thermometers in their original containers or in two plastic Ziploc bags.
Items that are not accepted at HazoHouse:
▪ Latex paint. Solidify it and put it in the garbage. To solidify it, mix in kitty litter, dry grass clippings, shredded paper or a commercial drying product.
▪ Alkaline batteries from households.
▪ Empty or leaking containers.
▪ Medical waste.
▪ Explosives, flares or fireworks.
▪ Radioactive wastes.
▪ Smoke detectors.
▪ Fire extinguishers. Discharge extinguishers into a bucket or garbage bag and put it in the trash.
▪ Computers, monitors, TVs or electronics.
For guidance on where and how to dispose of all types of waste (hazardous and nonhazardous), visit the Thurston County Public Works Department’s Solid Waste Program website, “Where Do I Take My…?” at wheredoItakemy.org.
Reach Dr. Rachel C. Wood, health officer for Thurston and Lewis counties, at 360-867-2501, firstname.lastname@example.org.