What did it take to get this auto dismantling business to stop storing hundreds of gallons of hazardous wastes outside with no protection from the elements?
Stepping onto this site you wouldn’t know from the dark stains of automotive fluids on the property, the potential fire hazard of the 500 gallons of used oil that was stored near an electrical panel and the storm water that ran off the property onto neighboring sites, that nine different environmental and health agencies had separately visited this site to give technical, non-enforcement help.
Despite the best efforts of various agencies, the business owner continued to ignore their advice.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The numerous agencies started coordinating with each other through the Interagency Compliance Team (ICT). ICT works with the various agencies to develop a strategy and then starts implementing interventions. In this case, the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Public Utilities and OSHA issued citations; Public Health – Seattle & King County issued a Notice of Violation and Notice and Order to the property owner.
The result? Nine hundred gallons of hazardous waste were removed from the property. The business owner stopped operating his business and cleaned up the property. Storm water pollution and environmental impacts to neighboring properties also stopped as did the continued chemical exposures to the community and the environment from the property.
Under the umbrella of ICT, representatives from nine agencies coordinated with the business and the property owner to get the site cleaned up: the Washington State Patrol, Seattle Fire, King County Storm Water, King County Industrial Waste, Department of Ecology, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Public Utilities, Department of Ecology, Division of Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA), and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.
Thanks to these agencies for working together to keep businesses on track so we can all breathe easier.
You might want to try some of this advice that is useful for both homes and businesses.
- Take care of chemical hazards at home or in your business before a flood
- Register to receive King County flood alerts
- Consider using sandbags
- Keep street drains free of debris
- Don’t drive through standing water
- See more preparation tips including links to find out if you are in a flood plain
Have you ever been in flood? Had you tried to prepare? Were any of your efforts useful?
From gardening without space to exploring red wiggler worms, have hands-on fun while learning how to garden the natural way in these free classes at Highlands Neighborhood Center on 800 Edmonds Ave NE in Renton in September and October, 2015. Though there is no cost, please register.
Fall Gardening for Spring Beauty
Wednesday, September 23, 7 – 8:45PM
- Prepare your garden now and save yourself time next year. Lean how to build healthy soils, proper weeding techniques, how to prune and more.
Secrets to Companion Planting
Wednesday, September 30, 7 – 8:45PM
- Discover which plants grow best together to improve your garden’s health rather than competing for resources.
Worms on Wheels for Kids
Saturday, October 10, 10:30AM – 12:30PM
- Explore composting and the importance of worms with Seattle Tilth’s Worms on Wheels!
Vertical Gardening: Up, Up & Out of the Way!
Saturday, October 10, 10:45AM – 12:30PM
- No yard or little space? Find out how to grow vertical gardens with vegetables, fruits and flowers that thrive in our climate and take little soil.
Classes sponsored by the City of Renton and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program.
The Clean Marina program is proud to announce the winners of the first ever Clean Marina of the Year competition! Shilshole Bay Marina has won in the Public Ports Category and Foss Harbor Marina in the Private Marina Category. Both facilities are recognized for their exemplary leadership in pollution prevention and environmental protection.
Foss Harbor Marina switched to paperless billing and correspondence. It also eliminated plastic and Styrofoam cups and transitioned to high-efficiency bulbs and fixtures to reduce energy consumption. Foss is very active in the local community working with organizations such as Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Tacoma Waterfront Association. Marina staff recently leveraged Clean Vessel Act (CVA) funds from WA State Parks to purchase and operate a sewage pumpout boat. This provides free and convenient slip-side sewage disposal for tenants.
Shilshole Bay Marina is recognized for their work promoting Required Management Practices among their 1400 tenants, hosting an oil spill response trailer and developing a prioritized Environmental Management System to take a comprehensive look at potential environmental hazards. Tracy McKendry, Sr. Manager of Recreational Boating accepted the award on behalf of Shilshole saying, “We are extremely proud of our marina team and community. It takes creativity, persistence and cooperation to continually work towards improving our environmental practices. We are lucky to have such great partners in our environmental endeavors and would like to thank them for their continuing support.”
With over 70 Certified Clean Marinas in Washington State, this network of dedicated business owners and marine professionals are at the forefront of the exciting and innovative work being done to teach a new generation of boaters about how to care for and steward the marine environment for the future.
In 2014, the Program provided direct service to 90,000 people who visited our hazardous waste collection facilities, attended our trainings and had an Environmental Investigator visit their business. It provided indirect service to over 200,000 people through our Website and Facebook page. Read the full report.
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County is a multijurisdictional program whose mission is to reduce the threat posed by the production, use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, thereby protecting public health and environmental quality. Program partners include the Seattle Public Utilities, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and cities and tribes in King County.
This weekend Seattle will celebrate the first certified Healthy Nail Salon – the Nail Garden in the Green Lake neighborhood, located at 7900 E. Greenlake Dr. N, #109, Seattle, WA 98103. The celebration starts at 11 am and goes until 2 pm. Be one of the first 30 visitors and receive a bottle of “3-free” polish (no toluene, formaldehyde or dibutyl phthalate) with this coupon. What’s special about Nail Garden that makes it a “certified” healthy nail salon? Those of us who have braved strong solvent odors for a manicure or pedicure will appreciate that this salon has a ventilation system that diverts the odors outside where they are quickly dissipated. This benefits not only the customers but the nail technicians who spend up to 8 to 10 hours a day breathing the vapors. It is not uncommon for nail technicians to experience dizziness, nausea and headaches. Long-term exposure can cause asthma, liver and kidney issues and memory problems. Most nail technicians are Vietnamese and have limited English proficiency. Like most of us, many are not aware of the problems exposure to these chemicals may cause. The Healthy Nail Salon project in King County partnered with salons to help them improve their ventilation systems, find safer chemicals and personal protective equipment. It also created a recognition program for those salons that safely handle, store and dispose of their chemicals. Come celebrate with Nail Garden this Saturday from 11 am to 2:00 pm. The celebration is more than just this nail salon’s commitment to protecting the health of their employees. It’s also a celebration of the groundbreaking work the Healthy Nail Salon project is doing in King County. The Healthy Nail Salon project is a part of the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.
It may not seem that the simple act of gathering your unwanted household hazardous waste and making a trip to the disposal facility will “save the Earth”, but many small, individual actions add up to big results.
Thirty-two million pounds – that’s the amount of household hazardous waste people brought to the Wastemobile in 25 years. This came from individuals gathering waste from under their sink or off the shelf in their garage and making a trip to a disposal site.
Hazardous waste includes many things most of us wouldn’t consider hazardous:
- fluorescent light bulbs and tubes (they contain toxic mercury)
- any household cleaner with the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON on the label (that’s most of them);
- the can of oil-based paint you didn’t use up completely;
- household batteries (they contain lead) – yes, even the ones from your remote control units.
Find upcoming collections and convenient, permanent disposal sites
Vashon-Maury residents can safely dispose of old car batteries, oil, paint thinner and many other household hazardous items at no cost when the Wastemobile travels to Vashon Island, April 17-19.
The Wastemobile will be at the Tjomsland Gravel Pit, 17001 107th Ave. SW, Vashon, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Residents can drop off household hazardous waste items including pesticides, oil-based paints, automotive products (oil, antifreeze, lamps, etc.), fluorescent bulbs/tubes and other items without a charge. The service is pre-paid through garbage and sewer utility fees.
The Wastemobile goes to Des Moines next
Following its stop on Vashon, the Wastemobile will travel to Des Moines, April 24-26 for a household hazardous waste collection event at the Des Moines Marina, 22307 Dock St., Des Moines.
About the Wastemobile
Created in 1989, the Wastemobile was the first traveling hazardous waste disposal program in the nation. It is operated by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program and goes throughout the county from the spring through fall.
Residents help protect the environment and public health by safely disposing of the hazardous materials and keeping them out of drains and landfills. Since first hitting the road, the Wastemobile has collected more than 16,000 tons of hazardous household waste from more than 450,000 customers.
The Wastemobile is now part of LightRecycle Washington, a program to safely collect fluorescent tubes and bulbs that contain mercury. The program is funded through an environmental handling charge that is included in the retail price of these types of lights.
The Wastemobile also provides free reusable products to the public, such as oil-based paint, stain and primer, plus wood care and cleaning products. These products are subject to availability, and residents must sign a release form prior to receiving the materials.
More disposal solutions: Visit the permanent collection site
For south King County residents, the Auburn Wastemobile is a convenient alternative for disposing of household hazardous waste. It is located in the northwest parking lot of The Outlet Collection (formerly the Auburn SuperMall), 1101 Outlet Collection Dr., SW, near Sports Authority. It operates every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Qualifying businesses can also use the no-cost disposal services. Call 206-263-8899 or find details at hazwastehelp.org.
For more information
For more information about disposal, including acceptable materials and quantity limits, call the Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except holidays. Recorded information is available after hours, or by visiting the Wastemobile website.
The Wastemobile is one of the services provided by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program through a partnership of more than 40 city, county and tribal governments working together in King County to reduce threats posed from hazardous materials and wastes.