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County Plans Household Hazardous Waste, Medication Collection for Residents

Macomb County residents are encouraged to drop off their hazardous household waste and expired medications from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Washington Township municipal offices.

Update: A Macomb Patch reader reports this collection site is not accepting e-waste at this time.

From battery acid to nail polish remover, Macomb County residents will have an opportunity to dispose of various types of household hazardous waste at a countywide collection event next weekend.

The collection will be held Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Washington Township municipal offices, 57900 Van Dyke.

“This program offers residents an environmentally safe and responsible alternative to landfill disposal for toxic chemicals,” said Health and Community Services Director Steve Gold, in a prepared statement.

Residents will have the opportunity to dispose of everything from automotive products and garden pesticides to household cleaners such as bleach and furniture polish.

Unwanted medications will also be collected so long as they are placed in nondescript containers such as plastic bags. Controlled substances will not be accepted.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate around 1.6 million tons of hazardous household waste per year, with the average home accumulating as much as 100 pounds of hazardous waste.

Collection events like these allow residents to safely dispose of products containing toxic chemicals that become hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these products in the garbage or household drainage system could result in pollution to local soil and water supplies.

Materials that may be dropped off include:

  • Oven cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Other household cleaners
  • Bleaches
  • Disinfectants
  • Expired medications (non-prescription or over-the-counter)
  • Furniture and metal polishes
  • Floor care products
  • Nail polish/remover
  • Brake and transmission fluids
  • Coolants and radiator flushes
  • Battery acid
  • Pool chemicals
  • Asbestos - containing materials
  • Mercury, thermometers
  • Paint (oil base only)
  • Batteries
  • Fuel oil and gasoline
  • Petroleum solvents
  • Fungicides, herbicides and insecticides
  • Fertilizer
  • Rat/ant poison
  • Glues and adhesives
  • Wood preservatives
  • Stain, shellac and varnish
  • Paint thinner/turpentine
  • Paint removers
  • Resins
  • Full or partially full aerosol cans
  • Photographic chemicals

These materials will not be accepted: 

  • Tires
  • Lead
  • Acid batteries
  • Radioactive materials
  • Electronic equipment for recycling explosives, ammunition and shock-sensitive materials
  • Compressed gas cylinders (includes propane and fire extinguishers)
  • Medical waste such as needles
  • Commercially generated waste
  • Smoke alarms
  • Motor oil
  • Latex Paint - Can be safely disposed of with curbside trash collection. Solidify the paint with kitty litter, sand or saw dust or take the lid off and let it dry up completely. Once in a completely solid form, place the paint can out for regular curbside collection with the lid off.

If you can't make the Washington Township collection event, another collection is scheduled for Aug. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Health Department in Mount Clemens, 43525 Elizabeth Rd.

Jenny Whalen August 18, 2012 at 03:23 PM
A Macomb Patch reader just emailed me saying this collection site is not collecting e-waste (computers, etc.) as the county originally reported.
Fredric Stavros December 04, 2012 at 04:21 AM
This is a good announcement. I always have these expired medications that I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any means of disposing these properly, that sometimes it takes me a while to dispose these items and I know that these are household hazards. I am glad that my county has this initiative and I am able to dispose of household wastes properly.

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