Do you have paint from the remodel you did in 1999 still lurking in your garage? Cleaners you bought and tried once, hated the strong smell, and now it's in the chemical graveyard under your sink or in your garage? Or wait, maybe that's just me? Maybe you change your own oil and you have old milk jugs of automotive fluids you need to dispose of? Okay that's definitely NOT me.
What are you going to do with all this stuff now? Put it in your trash can? NO! Pour it on the ground? Ack! Pour it down the drain? Oh please NO! What to do? It really isn't THAT bad…is it? Well, yes. When household chemicals enter into our water stream or contaminate the ground in landfills it exposes us all, people, animals and the entire eco system, to all sorts of dangers.
As a matter of fact, we call household chemicals Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). You might be thinking, "Surely I don't have any of THAT lurking in my home or garage. That's got to be people who are storing up plutonium and walk around in HAZMAT suits or something like that...right? That old cleaner I bought isn't considered HAZARDOUS is it!" Sorry to break the news to you…
The good news is, it's easy to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) in Clark County! You can take paint, pesticides, automotive chemicals, cleaners and other chemicals to your local transfer station on most Fridays and weekends for free. Yes, I said free! Nice!
And that presents another question. What is a transfer station? We have three in Clark County: Central Transfer Station, West Vancouver Transfer Station and Washougal Transfer Station. Some people think of these places as "the dump" but that term is misleading because nothing stays there.
True to their name, the transfer stations are places where things are "transferred" to another location. Recyclables are sorted and other materials that can be diverted and used in other ways are culled rather than heading up the Columbia River on barges to two landfills in Oregon. Did you know Clark County sends 840 forty foot long shipping containers per month to those landfills? Let's see if we can minimize how much we send up the river, especially the toxic stuff!
And paint is even easier to get rid of! There are seven local paint stores that accept used or leftover paint. Check here for times and locations. And another thing to note, we are no longer accepting Household Hazardous Waste at our Recycle Day events, so having the opportunity to dispose of it for free at the transfer station is a great chance to get rid of it in the best way possible.
So let's get those unwanted chemicals out of your home and disposed of properly... Take it to the Transfer Station!