Montgomery County residents may attend a household hazardous waste collection event on May 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Upper Merion Middle School.
About Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
Household hazardous waste is the discarded, unused or leftover portion of household products containing toxic chemicals. Hazardous usually can be identified by labels such as: "Warning", "Caution", "Poisonous", "Toxic", "Flammable", "Corrosive", Reactive" or "Explosive".
Due to its chemical nature, improper disposal of household hazardous waste poses a threat to human health as well as that to the environment where it may enter the municipal waste stream and cause environmental problems such as ground-water contamination, injuries to waste
management workers, and damage to equipment and property.
There are several products for general public use that may be harmful without proper handling, use and storage. Read product labels, take precautions, and store in safe out of reach areas away from children and pets. Every homeowner should take an inventory of the hazardous
materials in their home to ensure that they are safely stored. Old, unstable materials should be separated out for disposal. Disposing of them properly is essential to maintain a safe home and environment.
Waste reduction starts in the home. Consider alternatives for common household chores (i.e., baking soda, vinegar, etc.), as well as offering unused portions (provided that product does not contain extreme hazardous characteristics) to neighbors, friends, family, etc. Do not dispose of liquid chemicals, banned pesticides, or motor oil in the trash; do not use storm sewers for disposal of chemical waste; do not mix chemical wastes together; never reuse any pesticide or chemical containers for other purposes.
When buying paint, you should only purchase what you need. Use any leftover paint for second coats or touch-ups. If you have extra paint you may donate it to a community group or theater group. Never throw away leftover paints in liquid form into the trash. Latex paint is not hazardous and can be safely disposed of by leaving the lid off the can and allowing it to dry completely, or mixing paint with sawdust or kitty litter type materials until the paint is absorbed
and no longer in liquid form. You then may dispose of it in your regular trash. Empty paint cans should be placed in the trash and not in your recycling container. Leftover oil-based paint should be saved for the hazardous waste collection program. Latex paint is not hazardous and
will not be accepted.
Driveway sealers, roof coatings and adhesive cans that are already empty or contain residue that has hardened, should also be placed in the trash and not brought to a household hazardous waste collection site.
Montgomery County's household hazardous waste collection events provides the opportunity to safely and properly dispose of these hazardous materials. Hazardous waste items include:
Automotive Products including motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, kerosene and gasoline; pesticides/herbicides; household products including drain and oven cleaners, spot remover, dry cleaning fluid, rug cleaner; paint products including paint thinner or turpentine, paint remover, oil based paint, furniture stripper and refinisher; and miscellaneous products including dyes, lighter fluids, concrete or asphalt sealers, propane tanks, swimming pool chemicals and mercury.
To safely package and transport household hazardous waste the following guidelines should be
1. Keep all products in original containers with labels intact.
2. Wrap leaking containers in newspaper and place in plastic bag or garbage container
making sure that all lids and caps are secure.
3. Place items securely in box for transport. Use cardboard or newspaper as filler.
4. Keep chemicals which will react with one another in separate parts of the vehicle.
5. Do not leave material in hot, unventilated areas for long periods of time.
6. Do not smoke near chemicals.
County residents may bring materials to any of the regional locations. For HHW the amount is limited to 220 pounds or 25 gallons per vehicle and each container cannot be more than five gallons.
Both the household hazardous waste and electronics program is limited to private residents,and all commercial institutions should refer to EPA’s RCRA Universal Waste laws with regard to proper disposal. Through these laws it is illegal for a commercial, institutional, or governmental
entity to dispose of these electronics, fluorescent bulbs, mercury, toxic chemicals, etc. in the regular municipal waste stream.
All collection sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call the Montgomery County "Recycling Hotline" at (610) 278-3618. Also, visit our web-site at
www.montgomerycountyrecycles.org for more information on the Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics collection program including a list of drop-off locations. The public may also sign up to receive email updates or ‘like’ us on Facebook to keep informed on all things pertaining to
recycling and hazardous waste in the County.