Hazardous waste disposal event set for Oct. 10

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Over time, hazardous waste can quickly accumulate in one's home, garage or barn, and local conservation districts hope individuals take advantage of an opportunity to safely dispose of such items.

The 13th annual Clean Sweep and Household Hazardous Waste Disposal event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 10, throughout Osceola, Lake and Mecosta counties. The collection site in Osceola County is the Road Commission's north facility, located at 13353 20 Mile Road in Tustin, and there is no charge for participating individuals.

The disposal is hosted by the local conservation districts, which define household hazardous waste products as items or substances which can cause environmental harm and in turn, personal harm.

"This collection is extremely important due to the fact that this sort of material should not go into regular landfills," said Charmaine Lucas, district manager for the Mecosta and Osceola-Lake conservation districts. "These items are toxic and hazardous, and we're trying to protect our ground water, our surface water, plants, animals and humans."

Last year, the event collected more than 23,000 pounds of household hazardous waste from 608 households within the three counties. On average, between 25,000 and 30,000 pounds are collected each year. Following the drive, the items are broken down so they are no longer toxic.

Though the service is free for those dropping off materials, Lucas said it costs the conservation district offices $1 per pound of waste to host the event. The conservation district raises money throughout the year and collects donations from local municipalities, businesses, organizations and foundations, but donations also will be asked for at the disposal collection site.

Pre-registation is required if more than 200 pounds of waste will be disposed of. For more information, call the Oscoela-Lake Conservation District at (231) 832-2950.

Acceptable Materials

  • Automotive products and fuels — gasoline and diesel fuel, antifreeze, brake fluid, kerosene, transmission fluid, car wax and oil/gas mixtures. Motor oil is accepted, but must be in containers 5 gallons or less; no drums.
  • Paint products — artists' paints, deck stain, oil-based paint, paint stripper, thinners and solvents, lead-based paint, preservatives, epoxies, glue and adhesives, varnish and seals, turpentine
  • Yard and garden products — insect repellents, killers and foggers, pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, fungicides and mouse/rat poison
  • Cleaners — cleaning solvents, dry cleaning solutions, rust removers, floor/furniture polish, naval jelly, metal polish, silver polish, oven cleaners, muriatic acid
  • Miscellaneous — Pool chemicals, nail polish/remover, household batteries, florescent light bulbs, moth balls, elemental mercury and thermometers or thermostats, un-used medication

Unacceptable Materials

  • Tires
  • Electronics
  • Smoke detectors
  • Latex paint
  • Automotive or rechargeable batteries
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • Cell phones
  • Radioactive materials
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Appliances and furniture
  • Construction and remodeling waste