Often, basements and garages become miniature storage facilities for all types of household items.
Unfortunately, many of these items are hazardous and can be dangerous if not handled and disposed of properly. As the spring cleaning ritual begins, it is important to handle hazardous household waste with care.
Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, flammable or reactive ingredients are considered to be household hazardous waste, or "HHW."
Products such as oil-based paints, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Improper disposal of these types of items can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, in storm sewers or in some cases, putting them out with the regular trash.
The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately noticeable, but improper disposal of these wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.
In continuing efforts toward creating a cleaner, healthier planet, the West Central Solid Waste District (WCSWD) is providing residents with four opportunities to properly dispose of HHW in 2007.
West Central, which oversees recycling programs in Parke, Putnam, Montgomery and Morgan counties, is the sponsor of Tox Away Days which will be conducted again this year.
Designed to help residents properly dispose of HHW, the program is in the 12th year and is one of the better known activities of the recycling district.
Dates for Tox Away this year include April 14 at North Montgomery High School; May 5 at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in Greencastle; June 16 at Mooresville High School; and Sept. 29 at the Parke County Fairgrounds.
Residents throughout the four-county district are welcome to attend any of the events and drop off HHW items.
All events will be conducted from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and are open to private residents only. The district cannot accept items from businesses.
Many items will be accepted for free at the events, while other items will be a fee assessed with them. The Tox Away events are a great way to get a head start on spring cleaning projects and protect the environment at the same time.
For specific information about the Tox Away events, including fees and a list of accepted items, watch for information in the Banner Graphic during the week of the Putnam County event or call the West Central office at 653-2150.
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Information submitted by Pam Burgess, West Central Solid Waste District