Household Hazardous Wastes

Did you realize that your house is filled with materials that become hazardous wastes when disposed of? These include such everyday items as mercury vapor lamp bulbs, fluorescent tubes, cleaning chemicals (bleaches and scouring powders,) aerosols, anti-freeze, asbestos, fertilizers, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, batteries and solvents. Basically, a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is any unwanted household product labeled as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive. There are strict laws which make disposing such items in your garbage illegal. The reason for this is that you may be exposing the people handling your garbage to toxic chemicals which could cause them life threatening harm or injury. Also, such items, when placed in our landfills, will leach out their toxic chemicals and seep into our groundwater or escape into the air contaminating the water we drink and the air we breath. Therefore, it is very important that each of us recognize the potential harm we may be doing to our health and environment by simply disposing of these items into our garbage. Instead, we ask that you manage such items carefully, safely storing them until you are ready to dispose of them. Proper disposal is simple but will be little bit more inconvenient then simply tossing them in your garbage cans. The Disposal of Toxics facility accepts HHW for free from all Whatcom County residents. It is located at 3505 Airport Drive Bellingham. Its phone number is 360-380-4640 and its hours are Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and the 1st Saturday of Each Month from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. We should note that the Birch Bay Drop Box Facility & Recycling Center, which we described HERE, will accept used motor oil and drained motor oil filters for free but no other HHW. Return to home page