Each year the average Iowa household generates an estimated 30 pounds of hazardous waste, which, if not disposed of properly, can cause serious environmental damage.
By understanding safe disposal options and less hazardous alternatives, cleaner water and a healthier environment will result.
*A household product is considered hazardous if it is combustible, corrosive, reactive (capable of exploding when exposed to heat or extreme pressure or may react violently when exposed to incompatible substances), or toxic.
*These products fall into five general categories: household cleaners (polish, oven cleaners, kitchen and bath cleaners, drain openers, disinfectants), home improvement items (oil-based paint, stain, paint thinner/stripper, varnish, caulk and adhesives), pesticides (insecticides, insect repellent, weed killer, mouse poison, pet spray, mothballs and many gardening products), automotive items (gasoline, windshield wiper fluid, car wax and cleaners, solvents, brake fluid and body putty) and miscellaneous (pool chemicals, color photo processing chemicals, cadmium yellow and cobalt blue artist paint and batteries.)
*Also keep in mind that container labels can indicate a product is hazardous. Words such as "Caution," "Danger," "Warning" and "Keep Out of Reach of Children" are signs that a product is hazardous.
A Regional Collection Center - where trained personnel unload the materials - has been established for residents of Plymouth, Cherokee and Buena Vista Counties. A building has been erected at the Cherokee Landfill to be used for temporary storage of all household hazardous waste, until it can be transported for proper disposal. Household hazardous waste material can be dropped off at the site located on Linden Street off Highway 59 south of Cherokee during present operation hours.
In addition, a mobile unit will be traveling to various communities throughout the three counties during the year to allow residents to easily drop off their hazardous products. A copy of the mobile unit's route, which will begin this month, will be announced in the Pilot-Tribune.
Please contact your local solid waste agency for more information: Buena Vista County Solid Waste Commission - (712) 732-7171 or (800) 449-5779.