Fall 2011 Household Hazardous Waste Collection EventWhen
Sunday, November 6, 2011
9 a.m. until 2 p.m.Where
Western Acceptance Facility
3310 Transway Road
Halethorpe, MD 21227What
Baltimore County Residents may drop off unwanted household chemicals, paints, pesticides, medicines, mercury thermomenters, flourescent bulbs, rechargeable batteries, computers and home electronics, ammunition and automotive fluids for recycling or proper disposal. No trash will be accepted at this event.
Disposal Options Disposal of Latex Paints
Reusable latex paints can be taken to the drop off center at the Eastern Landfill or to a one day collection event for recycling. For residents who do not wish to recycle their latex paints, these latex paints can be disposed of with your routine garbage collection if a few simple steps are taken. Make sure the paint cans are empty or the contents have solidified before placing latex paints into the garbage can. The lid should be removed from the paint can so that the garbage collector can see that there is no liquid inside. Latex paint can be solidified in the paint can by removing the lid, stirring in an absorbent material such as cat litter or saw dust and placing the open can out in the sunlight to dry. This should be done in a safe, well ventilated area away from children and pets. Care should be taken to avoid overloading your garbage can with latex paint cans beyond the 40 lb. local weight restriction, or overloading garbage bags beyond the 30 lb. weight restriction. Oil based (alkyd) paints may be flammable and should not be disposed of through the routine garbage collection system. For guidance on the disposal of other household chemicals, please contact the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) at 410-887-3745.Disposal of Unwanted Medicines
Unwanted medicines can be taken to the one day collection events for proper disposal or can be disposed of safely in the routine garbage collection if a few simple steps are taken:
- Take the medicines out of their original containers and mix with an undesirable material such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
- Put the mixture into a sealable plastic bag or disposable container with a lid (such as a margarine container).
- Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.
- Place the sealed container and empty medicine containers into the trash can.
Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. For an updated list of drugs which should be flushed please visit the USFDA web site
, or contact the USFDA, 1-888-463-6332. Some pharmacies in Baltimore County will accept prescription drugs for proper disposal. For an updated list, please visit the National Community of Pharmacists Association
You can view the Household Hazardous Waste Brochure
(PDF) online or download and print it.The Household Hazardous Waste Threat
The average household contains between three and ten gallons of waste materials that are hazardous to human health or to the environment. Collectively, these materials can create serious health and safety risks or contaminate our groundwater, surface waters or the air we breath if they are not stored carefully and disposed of properly.What is a Household Hazardous Waste Material?
Household hazardous waste materials include many things that you probably are storing right now in your garage, basement, bathroom, or kitchen. Some, like paint thinner, car batteries, or pesticides, are pretty obvious, but there are many that you might not ordinarily think of such as polishes, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers and glues. These materials are too dangerous to be simply poured down the drain or placed into a garbage can. Some, such as gasoline, thinners, lighter fluid or glues and adhesives can catch fire. Others, such as pool chemicals and bleaches, can react violently with other materials to explode or produce toxic gases. Many, such as lawn and garden or agricultural chemicals, can be toxic if inhaled or ingested or can cause cancer, birth defects or other serious medical problems. Some, such as unwanted medicines can contaminate lakes and rivers, or public drinking water supplies if simply flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain.Dangers of Hazardous Waste
The improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can cause problems for the entire community. Sewers have exploded and garbage trucks have burned because people have carelessly discarded flammable or reactive wastes. Household hazardous wastes can leak from trash cans, garbage trucks, or landfills and contaminate groundwater and surface water or can enter the air we breathe through emissions from landfills and incinerators.
Latex paints and stains leaking from trash cans or the back of garbage trucks may not be dangerous, but can create public nuisances and community eyesores on area roadways and sidewalks.
What Can I Do About Household Hazardous Waste?Individuals Really Can Make a Difference!
- Educate yourself. Learn about the products you use in your home, garden, and workshop, and about how waste is managed in your community.
- Try to find a non-hazardous or less hazardous substitute. Baking soda makes a good scouring powder, whole lemon oil and beeswax works well as a furniture polish. Cedar shavings and aromatic herbs can replace mothballs. Use a plumber's helper or snake to clear clogged drains instead of a caustic drain cleaner. In some cases, substitutes may require a little more "elbow grease," but are well worth the effort to protect your health and the environment.
- Try to select the least hazardous product which will work for you. When you buy, buy only what you really need. The large economy size often is less economical when you consider disposal of leftovers!
- Always read and follow all directions and precautions on labels. Never mix products unless directed by the label - two really good individual products may react to be less useful, and may even be chemically incompatible, producing toxic fumes, fires or possibly explosion.
- Store hazardous products in their original container. If you must put something into another container, for example when you change your motor oil, make sure to label the container. Make sure all containers are tightly closed and upright. Keep away from children and pets.
- Keep hazardous products away from food products and sources of heat and sparks. Separate flammable, corrosive and poisonous products.
- Try to use up products for their intended purpose. If you do have some left, try to share it with your friends or neighbors, or perhaps with community groups.
- Find and utilize Baltimore County drop off centers for used motor oil, paints and other materials.
- Finally, carefully store any remaining household hazardous waste until you can safely transport them to the nearest Baltimore County drop off center or one day collection event.
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgRevised March 15, 2011