With vaccinated people across the region returning some level of normalcy to their routine after months at home, one thing may be left undone — what to do with those oozy, smelly and fumy chemicals found while cleaning during quarantine?
Removing clutter from your house, you may have unearthed ancient cosmetics from under the bathroom sink, bags of old fertilizer from shelves in your newly clean garage, or cans of extra paint leftover from the bedroom renovation that happened years ago. Can some of these things just be thrown away? The answer is NO!
According to the EPA, anything flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive is hazardous waste. If you’re ever in doubt, look on the container for labels marked WARNING, CAUTION and DANGER. You should NEVER throw these in the trash or send them down the drain, as they can end up in the water supply and harm wildlife and even people in your community!
If you are unsure about what to do, you can run a search on Recyclespot.org to find out how to dispose of it properly. The MARC Solid Waste Management Department, in partnership with communities taking part in the Regional Household Hazardous Waste Program, has safely disposed of 7 million pounds of household hazardous waste since 1997. About half of that is leftover latex paint.
To help make things easier, the MARC Solid Waste Management District is once again partnering with participating communities to hold ten mobile collection events from April through November. Event locations include Independence, Harrisonville, Platte County (to be held near Platte City), Gladstone, Blue Springs, Smithville, Richmond, Jackson County (to be held near Grain Valley), Raymore and Kearney.
While these mobile events are wildly popular, you do not have to wait for a nearby event to dispose of your hazardous waste safely. Residents of participating communities may also bring household hazardous waste to one of two permanent collection facilities in Kansas City, Missouri, and Lee’s Summit, free of charge with proof of residency. Residents of non-participating communities may use the Lee’s Summit facility for a fee. Please call (816) 550-1612 to set up an appointment.
Kansas residents also have separate programs to dispose of hazardous waste. If you live in Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami or Wyandotte counties, you can take your waste to the county HHW facility. There is an additional facility for the city of Olathe.
Area programs accept residential waste only. They will not accept waste from home-based businesses, nonprofits, churches, and rental properties.
For more information on household hazardous waste disposal, please visit Recyclespot.org or call 816-701-8226.