Hazardous waste collection April 8 at Ogle County Fairgrounds

Hazardous household products are products purchased for use in the home, containing ingredients that, because of their chemical properties, have the potential to harm people or the environment.

Typical hazardous products include automotive fluids, household cleaners, disinfectants, polishes, pesticides, pet care products, paint products, photographic chemicals, swimming pool chemicals and personal hygiene products.

Even though easily purchased at local stores, a product can still be harmful to you, your family and the environment. Many household products contain chemicals that are poisonous, corrosive, flammable and/or chemically reactive. Many have not been tested for potential long-term health effects on humans.

Households with small children must be especially careful about the hazardous nature of a product. In the hands of a curious child, products that are reasonably safe when used as directed can cause serious harm. Many calls to Poison Control Centers involve a child and a cleaning product.

Improper disposal of these products can endanger the health of your family, the community, sanitation workers and the environment.

As an informed consumer, you can make a difference. You can have an impact on the amounts and types of household products produced. By shopping for less-toxic or non-toxic products, you send a message to manufacturers that encourages them to produce safer alternatives to hazardous household products.

Use less-toxic alternatives whenever possible. Be a smart shopper—always read the label and buy the least-toxic products, buy only the amount you need, and don’t be seduced by sales to purchase more than you want. Think “safe.” Properly handle and store materials, and dispose of household hazardous waste legally and safely.

The Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department, and the Lee County Office of Solid Waste Management, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) are hosting a one-day household hazardous collection event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 8 at the Ogle County Fairgrounds. Residents from Lee, Ogle and surrounding counties are invited to participate in this free event.

The IEPA will provide a fully licensed and insured contractor to collect the waste, and manage it in an environmentally sound manner.

Acceptable materials include the following: mercury thermometers and thermostats; oil and latex-based paints; paint thinner; herbicides; insecticides; pesticides; old gasoline; used motor oil; antifreeze; pool chemicals; cleaning products; rechargeable batteries; lead acid (car) batteries; drain cleaners; lawn chemicals; solvents; hobby chemicals; aerosol paints; and pesticides and fluorescent lamp bulbs.

Unacceptable wastes include agricultural wastes (including farm machinery oil), industrial/institutional/commercial wastes, explosives, fireworks, propane tanks and fire extinguishers.

Participants are asked to bring their waste, by vehicle, to the Ogle County Fairgrounds. Volunteers will be there to direct the traffic, survey participants and hand out educational information about HHW. Trained technicians will unload the waste from each vehicle. If possible, participants should bring a neighbor’s waste to help minimize traffic at the site.

This will be the only HHW collection event in Ogle and Lee counties this year, so residents are encouraged to participate.

Questions should be directed to the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department at 732-4020 or the Lee County Office of Solid Waste Management at 857-4141.

From the April 5-11, 2006, issue

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