Editorial: Guilt-free hazardous waste disposal
You shouldn’t feel too guilty about that woodshed full of toxic chemicals. After all you didn’t pour them down the storm drain or sneak them into the neighbor’s trash bin. But those assorted half-empty cans of paint, insecticides and solvents have got to go.
And today is the day!
Today (Sat., Oct 10), homeowners can safely dispose of all kinds of nasty leftovers at Recycle Utah’s annual Free Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff Day at the Cabriolet parking lot on Canyons Resort Drive. Volunteers from Recycle Utah and the Park City Sunrise Chapter of the Rotary Club will take it from there.
Some examples of the potential pollutants that will be accepted include: pharmaceuticals; paints, varnishes, solvents; automotive fluids such as motor oil and antifreeze; car batteries and gasoline; household cleaners and bleach; fertilizers and pesticides; rechargeable batteries; pool and spa chemicals; propane and gas fuel cylinders; compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs); electronic waste; and mercury-containing items such as thermometers and smoke detectors.
Individually, a half-used can of wasp spray or paint remover might not seem particularly hazardous but multiply it by a subdivision or two, and those pollutants pile up.
There is also ample evidence that medications are leaching out of landfills and seeping into municipal water systems. The biggest offenders are hormone-based prescription medications and antibiotics. Several national studies have turned up evidence that the cumulative effects of pharmaceutical water pollution are beginning to show up in fish populations who’s next?
Beyond the environmental benefits of collecting hazardous items and taking them to the proper authorities, removing them from your home helps to protect kids and pets from exposure, too. That shelf of interesting cans adorned with skulls and crossbones may look like a Halloween treat to small goblins.
Saturday’s drop off day is only open to residential households. But after homeowners clean up their own backyards they might consider looking around their businesses. They can then contact Recycle Utah and ask about the most responsible ways to dispose of hazardous waste at work.
In past years, personnel from the Park City Fire District, the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, Park City Municipal and Summit County have been on hand to streamline the popular event. They will take those cans and buckets off your hands and you can drive home knowing you have done the right thing. Then when you look at all those clean shelves in the garage you might consider replacing some of those products with those that are bio-friendly.
For more specific information on what materials will be accepted log on to: http://www.recycleutah.org/events/household-hazardous-waste-collection-2/
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.