Monthly household hazardous waste collections set to begin

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By The Staff

The once-a-year household hazardous waste collection will convert to a monthly schedule at the Eco Station beginning in September.

Los Alamos County’s Environmental Services Department made an exciting addition to the Eco Station with the installation of a household hazardous waste (HHW) facility.

This facility enables a new monthly HHW collection at the Eco Station. Starting in September, Los Alamos County residents will be able drop off their household hazardous waste on a monthly basis free of charge, a significant improvement from the yearly collections that occurred in the past.  

Collections will occur on the second Friday and Saturday of the month from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. There also will be a reuse table where citizens can take usable supplies, deemed safe for reuse, free of charge.   

Materials that will be accepted include adhesives, ammunition (less than 50 caliber), bagged asbestos, brake fluid, cleaners, fertilizers, gasoline, herbicides, items containing mercury, paint, paint thinner, pesticides, photo chemicals, fuel tanks, smoke detectors, solvents and transmission fluid.

Eco Station employees are excited for the installation of this facility and the improved services it will provide.

“This new household hazardous waste building allows us to safely provide residents with monthly instead of annual collection of used household chemicals and paint,” Environmental Services Manager, Regina Wheeler said.

“We planned to provide this new service as part our new Eco Station and now it is a reality. Recycling HHW reduces the toxicity of our garbage going to the landfill, keeps Eco Station workers safer and conserves resources. Special thanks are due to the County Council for their support of this important facility.

”This new service comes on the heels of the addition of free daily electronic waste collection at the Los Alamos County Eco Station initiated in April 2009.  This service enables Los Alamos County residents to drop off electronic waste, such as computers, stereos, VCR’s, DVD players and TV’s, during normal Eco Station operating hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.Residents just need to pull up to the scale house and the operator will direct them to the back of the transfer station where the e-waste drop off is located.  

Businesses can recycle electronic waste for a fee.         

The addition of free monthly household hazardous waste and free daily electronic waste collection makes it much more convenient for Los Alamos County residences to reduce the amount of waste they landfill, thereby helping their pocketbooks and the environment.     

The first three household hazardous waste collections will occur at the Los Alamos County Eco Station on:

• Sept. 11-12 from 9 a.m.2 p.m.;

• Oct. 9-10 from 9 a.m.2 p.m.; and

• Nov. 13-14 from 9 a.m.2 p.m.

Questions about other items that may be accepted should be directed to Environmental Services at 662-8383.     

Tom Nagawieki is a County Environmental Services Specialist