REMINDER: PA Resources Council to Collect Household Chemicals in Allegheny County
Cleaners, automotive fluids, paints, pesticides and more will be disposed of here on Oct. 1.
(UPDATE made below - in italics.)
If you've been hanging on to those empty or near-empty cans of paint for a while, you'll need to wait just a little bit longer.
Pittsburgh-area residents will have an opportunity to safely and cost-effectively dispose of common chemicals found in their homes at a series of drop-off collections sponsored by the Pennsylvania Resources Council and its partners.
Four of the seven 2011 collection events remain—next is July 30 in Venango County's Cranberry Mall—and are held in conjunction with the PRC's Zero Waste Pittsburgh project in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department, UPMC, NewsRadio 1020 KDKA, Southwestern Pennsylvania's Household Hazardous Waste Task Force and other private- and public-sector partners.
The Cranberry event (not to be confused with Butler County's Cranberry Township) will be held on July 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by Somerset County's Aug. 6 event of the same hourly time frame (exact location to be announced).
Allegheny County's 2011 event will be held in the South Park Wave Pool parking lot on Oct. 1, also from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 marks the final Pittsburgh-area collection event—same hourly time frame—at Beaver County's Bradys Run Park Recycling Center.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average home can easily accumulate 100 pounds of common chemicals referred to as "household hazardous waste." These household chemicals include cleaners, paints, stains and varnishes, car batteries, automotive fluids, pesticides, pool chemicals, and other products containing potentially hazardous ingredients.
Individuals dropping off waste materials at collection sites will pay a fee of $2 per gallon. Payment must be made in cash only. No checks or credit cards will be accepted.
"The types of items we collect at these events are products typically found under kitchen and bathroom sinks, and in garages and basements," the PRC's Regional Director David Mazza said in a written statement. "While products classified as 'household hazardous waste' are safe to use if you follow all label directions, problems can arise when you use or dispose of them improperly.
"Throughout the past eight years, the PRC has collected and safely disposed of more than 2.5 million pounds of household chemicals from over 26,000 Pennsylvania households. While significant numbers, this just begins to scratch the surface of the problem of safe disposal of these materials."
The following materials will be accepted: aerosol cans; automotive fluids (motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid); batteries; chemistry sets; gasoline and kerosene; household cleaners (ammonia, drain openers, acid cleaners, oven cleaners); mercury; paint products (latex, oil-based, alkyd-based, arts/crafts chemicals, rust preservatives, creosote, water sealers, paint thinners, furniture strippers); pesticides/herbicides (rodent killers, insecticides, weed killers, mothballs, fertilizer); photo chemicals; and pool chemicals.
A certified contractor will process the hazardous wastes collected for proper disposal. Materials may be recycled, incinerated or safely buried in special landfills.
The following materials will NOT be accepted: ammunition; appliances; bulk waste; commercial and industrial waste; compressed gas cylinders, including propane tanks; drugs; electronics; explosives; flares; fluorescent tubes; leaking containers; medical waste, including needles; polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and dioxin; radioactive materials, including smoke detectors; and tires.
For more information concerning household chemical collection events and other opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle, visit www.zerowastepgh.org or call the PRC at 412-488-7452.