Household Hazardous Waste Facility reopens this weekend

Friday, April 4, 2014 | 4:53 p.m. CDT; updated 4:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 5, 2014

COLUMBIA — If you look around your house, you might come across items with words such as DANGER, WARNING, POISON or CAUTION on their labels. Items like these are considered hazardous and require proper disposal.

Residents with hazardous household waste can dispose of it safely and legally at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 1313 Lakeview Ave. The facility will open for the season from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The facility has been operating annually since 1992 and is funded by the city's residential trash fees. The location will be open on the first and third Saturdays of April through November.

It is also a drive-thru facility. When bringing the waste to the facility, residents have to ensure that the materials are secure to prevent any spillage. At the facility, they are then asked about the materials they have brought before staff will take the materials. Residents are then free to go.

The purpose of the facility is to ensure the proper and safe disposal of household hazardous waste to keep it out of the landfill, especially if it contains hazardous material such as mercury, said Waste Minimization Supervisor Layli Terrill. 

Terrill said she warns residents against mixing products together when they bring their waste to the facility. If possible, it would be better to keep the materials in their original containers if the containers are intact. If the material is unknown, it is best to label it as unknown, Terrill said.

Some examples of common household items considered hazardous are bleach, motor oil, nail polish remover and toilet bowl cleaner. The website has an extensive list of hazardous household items.

Two of the more popular items brought to the facility for disposal are motor oil and paint.

"I want people to feel comfortable about bringing their household hazardous waste here," Terrill said. "It’s a great opportunity for Columbians because it’s available for most of the year and at no cost for the citizens, with no appointment needed."

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