HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION EVENT PRESENTATION TEXT

By Doug Gable - City of Stillwater Pretreatment Coordinator

Welcome to the City of Stillwater's Third Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Presentation.

By working together, the people in a community can plan and create effective systems for managing household hazardous waste. The City of Stillwater's Environmental & Safety Services staff began sponsoring Household Hazardous Waste collection events in October of 1998. These events are helping citizens reduce the amount of household pollutants in their homes while heightening public awareness of the problem throughout the community. During these events, citizens are encouraged to bring household pollutants and drop them off for disposal. Volunteers survey the participants while waiting in line to drop off their household pollutants. Professional waste management contractors remove the household pollutants from the participant's vehicle. The items are separated and packaged for transportation to disposal or recycling facilities.

Last years collection event was conducted in the South Parking lot of Lewis Field on the OSU campus. Approximately 475 households participated by bringing household pollutants to the collection event. Many families used this event as an educational opportunity by bringing their children with them to the event. Over 16 tons of household pollutants were collected during the five-hour event. This translates into more than 32,000 pounds of household pollutants being kept out of local landfills, sanitary sewer systems, and out of the reach of young children.

Community support for the 1999 collection event was evident. Excellent news articles were provided by the NewsPress and Daily O'Collegian. Public service announcements were provided by KSPI radio.

Household pollutants can endanger your health, endanger waste collection workers and pollute the environment. Many of the products we all use for housework, gardening, home-improvement, or car maintenance contain hazardous materials.

What is a Household hazardous waste?

A hazardous product is any product that may be dangerous to human health and the environment if improperly managed. Household hazardous products generally have one or more of the following characteristics:

Corrosive: will burn skin and deteriorate many materials

Flammable: will ignite easily

Reactive: can cause an explosion or produce deadly vapors

Toxic: Poisonous to humans and animals

Household pollutants such as these should not be placed in the trash or poured into sinks. When placed in the trash possible injury may occur to sanitation workers. Improper disposal of household pollutants can negatively impact landfills and groundwater sources. If household pollutants are poured into sinks or drains, possible injury may occur to wastewater collection workers, the wastewater collection system and the wastewater treatment facility, which can affect water quality.

When purchasing household cleaning products, paints or pesticides, buy the correct quantity to finish the job. Once a product is opened its shelf life is greatly reduced. You might consider sharing your leftover product with a friend needing the same product.

And remember, more does not mean better!! Manufacturers have determined the appropriate concentrations necessary for the best performance of a product. By all means we should select and use household products wisely and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner.

On Saturday, October 7th, 2000, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the City of Stillwater will be conducting its 3rd Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event. The event will be held in the South parking lot of Lewis Field at Oklahoma State University.

Billions of dollars have been spent to clean up our nations lakes and streams. Many millions more have been spent to build and maintain adequate sanitary landfills.

Modern water and wastewater treatment plants have led us all to expect clean water and a safe environment as part of our everyday lives. We now realize that we can't discharge waste materials into a stream or bury household pollutants in a landfill without considering their impact on the environment.

This City of Stillwater's household hazardous waste collection events are available to all Stillwater residences at no charge. The event will not accept any private business or commercial waste.

This years event will include two new recycling components, tire recycling and paint swapping. Specific areas at the Lewis Field South parking area will be established for these recycling activities. Tires must be from Stillwater residents only and no commercial tires may be included. No exempt tires will be collected such as tractor tires, large off-road tires, and equipment tires such as forklift and backhoe tires. A paint swap tent will be available for participants to take home new or next to new paints that have been brought to the event. If you have full or nearly full containers of paint that you believe to be usable please indicate this to the professional waste management workers.

Updated information on the collection event will be available on the City of Stillwater's internet web page at www.stillwater.org.