The Wastemobile is back!

Wastemobile 8

Early signs of Spring include crocuses, magnolia blossoms, early-blooming rhodies and …. the Wastemobile!

Bring the hazardous waste that you’ve accumulated over the long winter to the first Wastemobile of 2015 in Bothell, WA.

Find it in the Seattle Times parking lot at 19200 120th Ave NE between 10 to 5 from February 27th through March 1.

Think you don’t have hazardous waste in your house, garage or shed? Chances are you do. Hazardous waste includes burnt out fluorescent bulbs, CFL bulbs (twirly bulbs), most unwanted household cleaners, batteries, and much more. Find a complete list here.

This great service is free because it’s already been paid for in your utility bill.

A recycling paint program for Washington State?

paint cans on shelves

Do you have leftover paint sitting in your shed or garage that you don’t know what to do with? Well, a solution may be on the horizon.

The State legislature is considering paint recycling legislation in Washington State (HB 1571-S/SB 5926) that would allow people to return their unused latex and oil-based paint to participating Household Hazardous Waste facilities or retail locations. Their paint would then be recycled, reused or managed responsibly.

Household hazardous waste facilities used to take leftover paint, but newer latex paint is no longer “hazardous” so you can harden it with kitty litter and throw it in the garbage.

Unfortunately, this method is not feasible for some King County residents. “You’re supposed to put [leftover paint] on your deck or in your garage and let it dry or mix it with kitty litter. I can’t do that – I live in a condo! … If I could take [my leftover paint] back somewhere and let someone else use it, that would be great!” said Nora Tablor, in an interview last month with Gary Chitham, King 5 News.  http://kng5.tv/1wBPJeO

The Paint Stewardship Bill is expected to increase the amount of leftover paint collected in Washington by 87%, creating new opportunities for local businesses to collect, transport, recycle and dispose of leftover paint.

Sounds like a good idea to us.

More on why Washington State would benefit from a statewide recycling law.

Seven simple steps to prevent children’s poisonings

It’s hard to keep an eye on small children all the time, and young children put everything in their mouth. Follow these simple steps to reduce the chance of a poisoning in your home.

Step 1. Make green cleaners – Household cleaners are the third most common reason for accidental poisoning of children. Reduce your child’s exposure to toxins and make your own green cleaners (PDF).

Green clean kit

Build your own green cleaning kit

Step 2. Buy safer cleaners. If you don’t have the time or interest to make your own green cleaners, buy safer ones. How? Read the label. Look in the lower left-hand corner for the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON. Avoid products that say DANGER or POISON. Instead, buy products that have WARNING or CAUTION. Labels with WARNING carry a higher level of hazard than CAUTION. Sometimes two products that do the same thing have different warning labels like these products below – one says WARNING and the other says CAUTION. The product with the word CAUTION is safer than the product with WARNING. Buy the product with CAUTION.

Which product is safer_DangerCautionHighlight

Step 3. Store products safely – Help keep kids safer by storing hazardous products away from their reach. Lock cabinets or take a new look at where you keep your products.

Blond girl under kitchen sink

Step 4. Store and use hazardous products away from food – Children and adults can easily confuse edible products that are in look-a-like containers. Contact the Washington Poison Center 1-800-222-1222 for free help in case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous, or toxic substances.

Pine Sol Apple Juice_CG_cropped

Step 5. Dispose of unwanted or expired medicines at one of these free, medicine take-back locations. Store the medicines you keep safely by locking them in a drawer, cabinet or medicine lock box.

Take Back Your Meds LT_Bartells_Cropped

Step 6. Keep hazardous materials in their original containers – Unmarked and reused containers are easily confused with food – like these containers below that were reused to store waste diesel fuel. If you have to store a product outside of its original container, clearly label and safely dispose of it.

diesel fuel stored in juice bottles_Kitsap Co Solid Waste

(Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Solid Waste)

Step 7. Take unwanted household hazardous products to one of these disposal locations. It’s easy to do and it’s free! Watch this video to see how easy it is.

HHW facility S shed-customer-haz-waste from Ned cropped3

Make room for the new. Clear out the stuff you no longer need!

Is making more space in your home  one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, here are five tips to help you do this safely:

Tip #1: Take unwanted products or waste with these words on the label: CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON to a household hazardous waste site. These words are usually on the lower left hand corner of the front of the container. Locations.

warninglabels_safer2

Tip #2: Do you have chemicals in your home (think garage, basement, attic)? Avoid explosions by calling 206-263-8899 before you move them. Chemicals can also be in hobby kits or chemical bottle collections.

chem shelves in basement_Cropped_DW

Tip #3: Get rid of the latex paint you no longer need: Stir kitty litter into it until it’s almost solid and put the lid on it – then throw it in the trash. Detailed instructions. Oil-based paint needs to be disposed as hazardous waste. Locations.

kitty litter in paint

Tip # 4: Keeps medicines away from pets, children and teens! Bring your unwanted medicines to a voluntary medicine take-back program for safe disposal. Locations.

A young girl looks at a pile of pills that was left on a counter.

Tip #5: Make use of even your ripped and holey clothing and shoes. Take them to a recycling drop off that will ensure they are recycled into new clothing for those less fortunate. More info here.

ripped pants_greggoconnell_flickr

Two free workshops on Chemical Safety in Schools in early December

Dave Waddell in the lab

You and your colleagues are invited to attend to attend two free workshops on Chemical Safety in Schools:

Initial Chemical Hygiene Training

Tuesday, December 2, from 8:30 -11:30 am

South Seattle College

6000 16th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Advanced Hygiene/Spill Response Training

Thursday, December 4, from 1:15 – 4:30 pm

Center School (at Seattle Center)

305 Harrison St. Seattle, WA 98109

Dave Waddell’s presentations are highly visual and entertaining. He is a school chemical safety expert and developer of the on-line School Chemicals Database.

You will:

  • Learn proper chemical storage and handling techniques.
  • See spill response procedures.
  • Understand how to dispose laboratory wastes.
  • Hear about mandatory upcoming chemical hazard trainings.
  • Practice identifying chemicals of concern.
  • Get to ask your questions.

Register now by emailing the following information to dave.waddell@kingcounty.gov

  • Your name
  • Your school
  • Your position
  • Let Dave know if you are interested in clock hours.

Year-round disposal service for household hazardous waste

Household disposal open all year round

The traveling Wastemobile – the service that goes from city to city to collect hazardous waste from households in King County – has stopped for the winter. But do not despair, we still offer year-round disposal services for households in King County at four different locations. Some small businesses may qualify to bring their wastes here as well.  The locations are

You can bring your unwanted household hazardous products – that say CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON on them. Just about the only exception to this is latex paint. You can now harden the paint and throw it in the garbage. Instructions here.

Check out this handy list of what you can and cannot bring.

We also have tips on how to transport your waste so it doesn’t spill in your vehicle or on you or one of your passengers.

For those of you with elderly friends or neighbors or who are otherwise disabled, we have a wonderful Home Collection Program.

Please take advantage of this wonderful program. It is paid for in your utility bill, so there is no charge when you drop off your waste.  What a deal!

Two local artists’ perspectives on hazardous materials and you.

HazMattersCover

© 2014 Edie Everette, HazMatters, comic book excerpt. Courtesy of the artist.

Two Seattle artists have created a comic book and short film that humorously connect hazardous materials, public health and the environment. Public Art 4Culture and King County’s Local Hazardous Waste Management Program commissioned cartoonist Edie Everette and animator Clyde Petersen to create a new kind of public service announcement, in both English and Spanish.

Everett’s comic, HazMatters, is a series of vignettes that explores how we live with hazardous products. The book cleverly reveals many ways household hazardous waste intersects with our everyday lives. It explores household hazardous waste and personal responsibility with stories full of questions, humor, and interactive activities. For a free copy of HazMatters by mail, call the Household Hazards Line at (206) 296-4692.

Petersen’s The Wild World of Pesticides is a short animated film featuring penguins and DDT that offers positive steps to reduce the use of toxic pesticides. It details the life and history of DDT and the positive steps we can take to reduce the use of toxic pesticides. A cast of stop-motion animated paper penguins living in a watercolor landscape tells stories of pesticide use in farming, landscaping and gardening. The film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iKDgK1xllc

Both artists use visual storytelling to uncover a topic that can be confusing and overwhelming. They help explain what hazardous wastes are, their impacts on our environment, and how we can responsibly deal with them.

About the artists:

Edie Everette’s HazMatters (Porque los productos tóxicos son peligrosos), Everette is a visual artist, cartoonist and writer, gives a behind-the-scenes look into her HazMatters design process through her articles I am a Public Artist Part 1 and Part 2 on the 4Culture blog.

Clyde Petersen’s The Wild World of Pesticides (El Mundo Peligroso de los Pesticidas)  Clyde Petersen is an indie animator, musician, and a member of S.E.A.T. (Seattle Experimental Animation Team).

View the full press release.

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