Category Archives: Other

What about lead poisoning in King County?

FB ad_father and daugher cropped

Lead in drinking water has been all over the news in recent months.  Should we be concerned about lead poisoning in King County?

In King County, water is not a common source for lead. Lead in drinking water usually comes from pipes or fittings.  These are five things to know about lead in drinking water.

 Lead from paint is the most common and dangerous source of exposure. Lead was added to house paint before it was banned in residential paint in 1978, so if your home was built before then, you may have paint with lead in it where you live. This is a concern because as old paint cracks and peels, it creates dangerous dust.

Children under six are most at risk for lead poisoning because their bodies are developing.  If you are concerned that your child may have been exposed to lead, talk with your health care provider.  The only way to know for sure if a person has been exposed to lead is to do a blood test.

How can you keep your family safer and reduce exposure to lead paint?

  • Reduce your exposure to possible lead dust in your home by dusting with a damp cloth and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Keep children away from peeling paint.  Lead tastes sweet and children have been known to eat paint flakes.
  • If you are remodeling the home you own and live in, and it was built before 1978, follow safe remodeling practices to reduce exposure.  If you hire someone, they must be a lead certified contractor.

Another source of lead in our area is contaminated soil.  Lead is in soil due to many years of lead in gasoline and years of contamination by regional smelters.  Reduce your family’s exposure to lead in soil:

  • Remove shoes before going inside
  • Cover bare patches in your yard with ground cover
  • Keep pets clean.

If you have questions call staff at our Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday to Friday, except holidays, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Keep your family safer: get rid of unwanted hazardous products


You can’t watch children all the time.  So how can you keep them safer?ChildReachingCupboard

If you have unwanted hazardous products you could get them out of your home and away from curious hands.

How can you tell which products under the sink or in the closet are hazardous?

Look on the label.  If you see the words DANGER or POISON, that means the product is very harmful.

If you see the words CAUTION or WARNING, that means the products is somewhat harmful.

And if you don’t see CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER OR POISON on the product label, that means the product is safer to use.

So if you want to get rid of hazardous products you don’t want, what do you do?

Getting rid of hazardous products you no longer use can help keep you and your family safer.

Garden Questions? Call the Garden Hotline 206-633-0224

Garden hotline croppedIs this the right time to plant tomatoes? Where can I find good soil for my raised beds? How can I win my battle with slugs?

Home gardeners and landscape professionals can get expert advice by calling the Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224, Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Want to take a class, come to an event or watch a video?  Or do you prefer to email your questions? Visit

Helpful staff offer advice managing plant pests, encouraging helpful insects, reducing water use, managing rain water, planting for wildlife, building soil, mulching, chemical-free gardening, natural lawn care and much more.

Would you rather let others do the work for you?  Find an environmentally responsible landscaper by searching the database at

Let us help you have a happy spring season!


Paint recycling bill being considered for a vote

PaintSideHouseWhat if there was a convenient way to deal with that oil-based paint that you’re currently taking to a hazardous waste facility or that latex paint that you’re drying out before putting in the garbage can?

Steve Dearborn, chief executive of Miller Paint, is advocating for that to happen. In a recent op-ed in The Olympian, he encourages the state legislature to pass the paint stewardship bill which would create a statewide paint collection program for the recycling or proper disposal of unwanted paint.

He cites among the benefits of such a program an end to the waste of leftover paint – a valuable resource for which a market exists. His Miller Paint customers each year purchase about 75,000 gallons of recycled latex paint made and sold in Oregon by Metro Paint.

He also calls attention to the benefits to the consumer and the environment. Residents and businesses with unused paint could, under this legislation, take it to a participating retail site. Such a program would help keep paint from being improperly disposed and possibly contaminating the land or waterways.

The bill, which was introduced in the legislature in January 2015, must come up for a vote in the House before the February 17, 2016 cut-off date.

Five Questions with Emmanuel Rivera, Health & Environmental Investigator III, Natural Resources & Parks

Source: Five Questions with Emmanuel Rivera, Health & Environmental Investigator III, Natural Resources & Parks

Free Natural Yard Care Classes in Renton for Adults and Kids

DrawingPlantsPotRentonFrom 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.

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.

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.

Ciscoe Morris gets a surprise household hazardous waste inspection. What do they find?

WM 25th Ciscoe w hazwaste

A surprise visit to an organic gardener’s home reveals some surprising places where household hazardous waste can be found! Find out how to identify household products that would need to be disposed as hazardous waste when no longer wanted — and where to take them for safe disposal.

Wastemobile collects hazardous waste in Sammamish August 15th – 17th

Give us your tired garden products!

Give us your tired garden products!

All King County and city residents can safely dispose of old car batteries, oil, paint thinner and many other household hazardous items at no cost when the  Wastemobile comes to Sammamish August 15th through the 17th at  Eastlake High School, 400 228th Ave. NE., Sammamish, WA from 10 to 5.

Twenty five years ago, the first collection of household hazardous waste took place in King County. This collection practice has evolved into what we now call the Wastemobile, a collection operation that travels from city to city. In that time 450,000 people have taken over 32 million pounds of household hazardous waste for safe disposal to the Wastemobile.

To celebrate this amazing achievement, we are holding a random drawing where three people will win either an iPad, a $100 gift card to REI or a $50 gift card to the nursery of your choice.

To enter, take a picture of yourself and the hazardous waste you will return to the Wastemobile by August 25th. Then post it here:

Find out what you can bring here:

Looking for other disposal locations, dates and hours?

Redmond hosts Wastemobile July 18 – 20, offering free household hazardous waste.

Wastemobile_vw-bug_CroppedThe Wastemobile will be in the parking lot of the Home Depot, 17777 NE 76th St., Redmond, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All King County and city residents as well as qualified businesses in King County can safely dispose of old car batteries, oil, paint thinner and many other hazardous items at no cost. The service is already paid for it in your garbage and sewer utility fees. Households can bring the wastes listed here Find out if your business qualifies or call 206-296-4692.

After Redmond, the Wastemobile goes to Bothell

Following Redmond, the Wastemobile travels north to Bothell for an Aug. 1-3 household hazardous waste collection event in the parking lot of the Seattle Times building, 19200 120th Ave. NE, Bothell.

About the Wastemobile

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, the Wastemobile was the first traveling hazardous waste disposal program in the nation. It is operated by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program and it goes throughout the county from 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.

During the past quarter century, the Wastemobile has collected more than 16,000 tons of hazardous household waste from 450,000 customers.

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.

%d bloggers like this: