Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Clark County makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this web site. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, HTML browser capabilities, changes made since the last update to the site, etc., neither Clark County, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Clark County warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Contact Details

Call us
(360) 397-2121 x4352

Safety

  • Household Hazardous Waste

    Virtually every home contains products that are potentially hazardous if misused or disposed of improperly. Common hazardous products include pesticides, paints, solvents, batteries, thinners, motor oil, antifreeze, and household cleaners. It’s important to know how to handle, store, and purchase these materials to protect the safety and well-being of your family, community and the environment. You should never pour hazardous wastes down the drain, into the stormdrain, or place it in the garbage.

     

    Related articles: Unwanted Medication Disposal | Hazardous Waste Assessment

  • Use it safely

    Safety guidelines

    • Follow the directions on the label.
    • Use proper safety equipment.
    • Have a working fire extinguisher available.
    • Wear protective clothing as necessary.
    • Post emergency numbers near your telephone.
    • Leave products in their original container with labels intact and visible.
    • Do not mix products unless directed to do so by the label’s directions.
    • Use only what is needed. Using twice as much product does not mean twice the desired results.
    • If pregnant, avoid any potential exposure to toxic chemicals. Many toxic products have not been tested for their effects on unborn children.
    • Avoid wearing soft contact lenses. They can absorb product vapors and damage your eyes.
    • Use products in well-ventilated areas. Work outdoors whenever possible. If working indoors, open windows and use an exhaust fan to blow the air outside rather than re-circulating it indoors. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, take a break and go outside.
    • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while using hazardous products. Traces of hazardous chemicals can be carried from hand to mouth. Smoking can also start a fire if the product is flammable.
    • Clean up after using hazardous products.
    • Seal products and refasten all childproof caps.
    • Do not leave hazardous products unattended.

    Chemical Exposure

    The effects of chemicals on human health and the environment depend on the dose, concentration, duration and frequency, and route of exposure. People have different reactions to chemicals, some reacting to small doses and concentrations, while others require a larger dose or concentration to react.

    Hazardous materials may enter the body through:

    • Ingestion: To prevent accidental ingestion of a hazardous material, avoid putting anything in your mouth while working with hazardous materials. Always keep food, drinks, or other items that could come into contact with your mouth (e.g., cigarettes) away from the work area to avoid contamination. Always wash your hands before handling food or touching your face or eyes. Never place hazardous materials in food or beverage containers.
    • Inhalation: To ensure adequate ventilation, work outside whenever possible. If you must work inside, use a fan to direct air away from the work area and towards an open window. Always ensure that you have adequate ventilation. If you can smell the hazardous material you are working with, you might need to use a mask or respirator for adequate protection. Be aware that not all hazardous chemicals have an odor (e.g., carbon monoxide, methyl alcohol).
    • Absorption: Hazardous material can enter your body from contact with your skin or other exposed body surfaces. Avoid splashing and wear protective clothing to protect yourself.

    Preventing Accidents

    There are two approaches to eliminating accidents:

    • Eliminate unsafe conditions. Work areas and equipment should be examined to determine if any unsafe conditions (e.g., frayed electrical wires, improper ventilation or lighting, leaking containers of hazardous material) exist. Any unsafe condition should be corrected before beginning work in the area.
    • Reduce unsafe acts. Working in a safe environment requires you to examine those actions you control while being aware of those situations beyond your control. Care must be taken to ensure that any actions taken to protect or reduce accidents in one area do not cause or set up the conditions for accidents in some other area.

    Protect Yourself with the Proper Equipment

    • Clothing: To avoid direct contact of chemicals with your skin, choose clothing that both covers bare skin and provides a barrier for protection against contact.
    • Ear protection: Ear plugs or ear muffs to protect your ears from high volume noise.
    • Eye Protection: Select goggles or safety glasses to prevent liquids or fumes from getting into your eyes.
    • Foot: Boots made of PVC or heavy rubber will protect again chemical spills.
    • Hand: Gloves made of the proper material to protect against the type of chemical you are using. Consult a salesperson at your local hardware store.
    • Respiratory: Wearing a face mask or using a respirator can help prevent against inhaling fumes.

    Fire Hazards

    When working with hazardous products, always read and follow the directions on the label. Do not mix products unless instructed to do so by the directions on the label. To prevent fumes from escaping, keep all containers closed when working with the hazardous material.

    If the product is flammable and/or explosive, use and store away from any sources of heat, flames, sparks, or ignitions. Gas pilot lights, hot water tanks, lit cigarettes and cigars, light switches, and garage door openers can all be ignition sources. Fuel, oxygen, and heat are required for combustion to occur. If you remove any of these three elements a fire can be extinguished.

    Place all solvent covered rags in a sealed container after use and before cleaning. If you clean them yourself, wash the rags separately in a washing machine with a full water level of hot water and detergent. Rinse the washing machine thoroughly after cleaning the rags. Line dry the rags rather than using a dryer; the high heat of a dryer can ignite any flammable vapors remaining in the rags.

    Keep a working fire extinguisher readily available in your home and work area. Make sure the extinguisher you have is appropriate for the fire you are attempting to extinguish.

  • Store it safely

    Be aware of the hazards in your home or garage

    Always be aware of the type of hazard you are bringing into your home or garage. Some hazardous product containers are similar in appearance to food or beverage containers. Children who haven’t learned to read or adults that have problems with their vision may mistake a container with hazardous material for a food or beverage container.
    • Keep products out of the reach of children and animals, and away from food.
    • Clearly label all hazardous products before storing.
    • Never store hazardous products/wastes in food or beverage containers.
    • Make sure lids and caps are tightly sealed and childproof; never leave a container of hazardous material open and accessible to children or animals.
    • Keep containers dry to prevent corrosion.
    • Corroded containers should be placed in a labeled plastic bucket with a secure lid.
    • Store volatile chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
    • Store rags used with flammable products in a sealed and marked container.
    • Keep flammable or combustible products away from heat, flames, or other sources of ignition.
    • Store gasoline in approved containers, in ventilated areas, and away from ignition sources.
    • Know where flammable materials are stored and how to extinguish them.
  • Walking

     

    If you can walk there, keep the car at home. Often under-appreciated, walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your health.

    There is never bad weather, there is only bad gear:

    Keep dry with a raincoat, umbrella, and boots, and keep warm with mittens, a hat, boots, and a good coat. Too warm? Bring a spare change of clothes, or wear an undershirt and wait to put on your dress shirt until you get to your location.

    Stay safe:

    • Look left, right, and left again
    • Make sure vehicles are stopping, don’t assume they will stop
    • Walk facing traffic (unlike bicycling), so you can see that the driver sees you
    • Don’t jay-walk
    • Wear reflective clothing, or purchase a reflector with a clip and attach to your backpack, purse, or jacket
    • Take the less busy road, and the one with sidewalks, whenever possible
  • Biking

     

    Short or long trips, biking is a great opportunity to get some exercise into your day and potentially get to your location quicker by avoiding traffic and stoplights by taking a trail.

    Stay safe:

    • Always wear a helmet, even for short trips. Like when you put on your seatbelt when driving a car, get in the habit of always putting your helmet on whenever you hop onto your bike.
    • Keep your bicycle maintained; inspect your bike often. Check the PSI in your tires, and always check for a flat before taking off.
    • Obey traffic laws and follow the direction of traffic (unlike walking). Drivers won’t expect you to come from the opposite way of traffic, they are looking for cars and will see you if they are already looking that way.
    • Wear bright clothing, reflectors, and lights when it is dark
    • Use the proper hand-signaling to tell cars and other bicyclists what you are doing. Vehicles have turn signals and brake lights for a reason, and you should be doing the same signaling.
  • Non-controlled substance disposal

    What is the safest way to dispose of unwanted medications?

    • Take them to the transfer station during special household hazardous waste operating hours
    • Ask your physician if he/she will take them back for safe disposal.
    • Ask your pharmacist if they have a program for safely disposing of unwanted medications.

    Disposal Locations

    Walgreens Pharmacy - Fisher's Landing Store ONLY
    1905 SE 164th Avenue, 360-885-2938
    Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
    Controlled and Non-Controlled Drugs Accepted
    *No Liquids, Lotions, Inhalers, Sharps or Illegal Drugs please

    Central Transfer and Recycling Center
    11034 NE 117th Avenue, Vancouver 360-256-8482
    Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 4pm

    West Van Materials Recovery Center
    6601 NW Old Lower River Road, Vancouver 360-737-1727
    Friday & Saturday, 8am – 4pm

    Washougal Transfer Station
    4020 S Grant Street, Washougal 360-835-2500
    3rd Saturday of each month, 8am – 4pm

    You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

    • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
    • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
    • All patient information is removed or obscured.

    Inhalers

    Inhalers should be taken to the transfer station at the locations and times listed above. You can remove the cartridge from the case, and throw the case in the trash.


  • Safe disposal

    Take it to the transfer station!

    Clark County residents can dispose of household hazardous waste such as paints, pesticides, poisons, automotive fluids and chemicals at the three transfer stations in Clark County on most Fridays and weekends for FREE.

    Residents can drop of household hazardous waste at the following locations and times (business-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted at these sites):

    Central Transfer Center Station
    11034 N.E. 117th Ave.
    (360) 256-8482
    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    West Van Recovery Center
    6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road
    (360) 737-1727
    Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Washougal Transfer Station
    4020 S. Grant St
    (360) 835-2500
    Third Saturdays: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    There are also twelve paint stores in Clark County that accept used or leftover paint:

    • Ace Hardware, 13009 NE Hwy 99, Vancouver
    • Ace Hardward, 1605 W Main Street, Battle Ground
    • Filbin's Ace Hardward, 809 NE Minnehaha St, Vancouver
    • Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 10811 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
    • Miller Paint, 14300 NE 20th Ave., Vancouver
    • Miller Paint, 11717 NE 78th Way, Vancouver
    • Miller Paint, 2607 NE Andresen Rd., Vancouver
    • Miller Paint, 111 NE 164th Ave., Vancouver
    • North County Hardware, 40600 NE 221st Ave., Amboy
    • Parkrose Hardware, 16509 SE 1st St., Vancouver
    • Parkrose Hardware, 8000 E Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver
    • Rodda Paint and Décor, 7723 NE 4th Plain Blvd., Vancouver

    Guidelines for dropping off hazardous waste 

    DO:

    • Keep HHW products separate (do not mix).
    • Bring products in their original containers when possible.
    • Seal products to prevent leaks and spills.
    • Keep products away from the driver and passengers, i.e., in a trunk, truck bed, or trailer.
    • Keep children and pets away from collection sites and events.

    DO NOT:

    • Exceed 25 gallons or 220 pounds of HHW at fixed HHW collection facilities (okay at the satellite collection events)
    • Bring asbestos, explosives/ammunition, or radioactive materials
  • Controlled substance disposal

    Disposal Locations (free of charge):

    Battle Ground Police Department
    507 SW 1ST Street, 360-342-5100
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

    La Center Police Department
    105 W 5th Street, 360-263-2745
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

    Camas Police Department
    2100 NE 3rd Avenue, 360-834-4151
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

    Ridgefield Police Department
    116 North Main, 360-887-3556
    Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm

    Washougal Police Department
    1320 ‘A’ Street, 360-835-8701
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
    *No Liquids Accepted

    Vancouver Police Department
    West Precinct
    2800 NE Stapleton Road, 360-487-7355
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
    *No Liquids Accepted

    Vancouver Police Department
    East Precinct
    521 SE 155th Avenue, 360-487-7500
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
    *No Liquids Accepted

    Walgreens Pharmacy - Fisher's Landing Store ONLY
    1905 SE 164th Avenue, 360-885-2938
    Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
    Controlled and Non-Controlled Drugs Accepted
    *No Liquids, Lotions, Inhalers, Sharps or Illegal Drugs please

    All sharps and inhalers must be taken to the transfer station for disposal (you can check with your doctor or pharmacist for possible alternatives).

    Learn more about sharps disposal

    You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

    • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
    • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
    • All patient information is removed or obscured.
  • Sharps disposal

    Sharps (Hypodermic Needles, Syringes and Lancets)

    Used needles and lancets are dangerous because they can injure people and spread germs/disease. Victims of sharps-related injuries face the cost of post-injury testing, disease prevention measures, and counseling, even if no infection or disease was spread.

    Safe disposal options for sharps

    • Use an approved sharps containers. If an approved container is not available, use one with a well-secured lid, preferably a screw top. Rigid plastic containers are best – for example: plastic milk, juice or soft drink bottles. Avoid glass or aluminum. If using a non-approved rigid sharps container, such as an empty 2-liter bottle, please label it: WARNING SHARPS – DO NOT RECYCLE.
    • Never overfill a sharps disposal container. No materials should be sticking out of the top.
    • Never force materials into a sharps container.

    Where to dispose of sharps

    • Drop-off Collection Sites – Sharps users can take their filled sharps containers to any one of three transfer stations in Clark County. There is no cost for this service.
    • Special Waste Pickup Services – Self-injectors can place their used sharps in a special container, similar to a recycler container, and put it outside their home for collection by trained special waste handlers. Some programs require customers to call for pickup, while others offer regular pickup schedules. There is a cost for this service. Visit www.safeneedledisposal.org for further information.
    • Mail Back Programs – Used Sharps are placed in special containers which are mailed to a collection site for proper disposal. Visit www.safeneedledisposal.org for further information. There is a cost for this service.

    Where to take sharps in Clark County

    Central Transfer and Recycling Center
    11034 NE 117th Avenue, Vancouver 360-256-8482
    Monday – Friday, 6am – 6pm
    Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 4pm

    West Van Materials Recovery Center
    6601 NW Old Lower River Road, Vancouver 360-737-1727
    Monday – Friday, 6am – 6pm
    Saturday, 8am – 4pm

    Washougal Transfer Station
    4020 S Grant Street, Washougal 360-835-2500
    Monday – Friday, 7am – 5pm
    Saturday, 8am – 4pm

    Unwanted Medication Collection Events are held twice each year throughout Clark County. For more information call 360-397-2121 ext 4352.

    Download a flyer

     

  • Unwanted medication take-back events

    Upcoming medication take-back event

    Twice yearly, free medication take-back events are held in Clark County. The next event will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10am – 2pm. Citizens may drop off any unwanted medications free of charge and no questions asked. Let's work together to keep these substances out of the hands of children and away from our waterways. Events are a partnership of multiple Clark County agencies and the US DEA.

    Download a flyer

    Drop off Locations:

    Battle Ground Police Department
    507 SW 1st Street, Battle Ground

    Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park
    12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver

    PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care
    33rd & Main (South Back Lot), Vancouver

    Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue
    1220 A Street, Washougal

    You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

    • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
    • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
    • All patient information is removed or obscured.

    Learn more about sharps disposal