Hazardous waste disposal this weekend

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Over the past eight years, residents of Lake, Mecosta and Osceola counties have discarded close to a quarter-million pounds of household hazardous waste during the annual disposal day sponsored by the Mecosta and Lake-Osceola Conservation Districts.

Last year alone, the three-county effort to get hazardous materials out of circulation resulted in the collection of 34,479 pounds of dangerous waste that could have just as easily been discarded haphazardly and ended up in woods and water ways.

This year, the Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Conservation Districts are holding their ninth annual Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. through noon.

In Osceola County, residents can dispose of hazardous waste at the Osceola Road Commission North Facility, located at 13353 20 Mile Road, Tustin.

Lake County residents will be able to drop of items at Wenger Pavilion, in downtown Baldwin behind Jones Ice Cream Parlor.

The program is designed to keep hazardous wastes out of landfills, sewers and other public areas. Residents are encouraged to clean out the house and garage and bring their hazardous materials to the collection sites. In cooperation with Clean Sweep, through the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program, homeowners as well as farm, green-house, nursery, golf course or other end users of pesticides, mercury and many other toxic and hazardous materials, can use this service.

Products to be collected are:

Automotive products

n Antifreeze, brake fluid, car wax, contaminated oil, diesel fuel, fuel oil (no tanks), gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, oil/gas mixtures and transmission fluid;

Paint products

n Artists’ paint, deck stain, preservatives, epoxies, glue/adhesives, lead-based paints, oil-based paints, paint strippers, thinners and solvents, turpentine and varnishes and sealers;

Cleaners

n Cleaning solvents, dry-cleaning solutions, floor/furniture polish, muriatic acid, rust removers, naval jelly, oven cleaners, silver polish and metal polish;

Miscellaneous

n Household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, lighter fluids, elemental mercury, moth balls, nail polish/remover, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers and thermostats and unused medication.

Certain types of hazardous household waste have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers; contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down the drains or toilets; and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

Volunteers on site will accept motor oil, but only in five-gallon or less in containers. No 30-gallon or 55-gallon drums. There also will be a collection of dry-cell batteries from cell phones.

Volunteers prefer residents not bring (dry-cell) batteries although they will be accepted. There are locations throughout the three counties to collect dry-cell batteries.

Certain items that will not be taken, including: tires, latex paint, smoke detectors, automotive batteries, ammunition or explosives, fire extinguishers, radioactive materials, cell phones and appliances or furniture.

To transfer the materials to a collection point, residents are urged to keep the items in their original and labeled containers. Residents also should not mix contents of unknown or unlabeled containers and make sure the containers are not leaking before they bring it to the collection. Residents are urged not to transport containers with open tops and to secure the containers so they do not spill away from passengers.

If residents plan to participate by disposing more than 200 pounds of waste, they should contact the conservation district office at (231) 796-0909 Ext. 3.