The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will sponsor a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event today, Saturday, August 4, 2012 so Union County residents can get rid of outdated or unwanted household chemicals, fireworks, ammunition, mercury thermostats, propane tanks, and automobile tires in an environmentally safe manner. The household hazardous waste collection will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus located at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains, near the John H. Stamler Police Academy.
Residents of Union County are eligible to participate at no cost. Pre-registration is not required for this special Saturday collection.
“The special household waste recycling program for Union County residents is particularly important as we become more aware of the need for proper disposal of hazardous items that are found around the home,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The result of our effort is safer homes and a cleaner environment for our families and our neighbors.”
The Union County Police Bomb Squad will be on hand to accept unwanted ammunition and fireworks for disposal. It is particularly important to dispose of old ammunition and fireworks safely because they can be unstable and dangerous.
All that residents need to do is drive to the site with their household special waste, fireworks, ammunition, propane tanks, automobile tires, and mercury thermostats. Workers at the site will unload the vehicles.
“Household special waste” includes oil-based paint and varnish, antifreeze, aerosol cans, pool chemicals, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, thinners, fire extinguishers, motor oil and oil filters, gasoline, batteries, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), blood pressure devices, and mercury switches. Only materials in original or labeled containers will be accepted. No containers larger than five gallons will be accepted.
Latex (water-based) paint and empty cans will not be accepted. They should be disposed of in with the regular garbage. Leftover latex paint can be air-dried or, to hasten the drying process, kitty litter and/or newspaper can be added to hasten the drying.
“This is a great opportunity to recycle up to eight tires and dispose of old chemical containers that are cluttering up the basement or the garage, or taking up space under the kitchen sink,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, liaison to the Union County Solid Waste Advisory Council. “Our homes become safer once they are rid of hazardous and combustible waste.”
There is a limit of eight automobile tires (without rims) per household. This is a household recycling event. No businesses, please.
Union County, in partnership with Covanta Energy, also includes mercury thermostats in its household waste recycling initiative. The mercury thermostat program complements the County’s efforts to collect household pollutants and divert mercury from the regional waste stream in order to help safeguard our water and air quality. What’s more, residents will receive a $5 gift certificate to Home Depot for turning in a mercury thermostat at the August 4 recycling event.
“Our partnership with Covanta allows us to extend our efforts to pursue environmentally sound methods of waste disposal,” Freeholder Hudak added.
A complete list of the materials that will be accepted on August 4 is available at the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning web site: www.ucnj.org/recycle
For more information about the August 4 collection of old fireworks and ammunition, please call the Union County Police at 908-654-9800.
The household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine, for Union County residents only and not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required. For more information, please call the Recycling Hotline at (908) 654-9889.