Spring Cleaning? What to do with hazardous wastes

With the advent of Spring, it may be time to clean out the garage. Leaves that blew in over the winter are piled in the corner, mud has been tracked in, and the lawnmower is buried beneath the kids sleds. Being highly motivated, you may want to clear the garage of all the old paint cans, pesticides, and used motor oil from your car or lawn mower. What do you do with all this stuff? I used to let all my poisons pile up for years, because I knew that it wasn’t right to put it in the trash or pour it down the drain or in the soil.

Many communities have either regular or occasional means of disposing of your household chemicals. For St. Louis, I went to Google, typed in “st louis county household hazardous waste” and found this site from the St. Louis County Health Department. For St. Louis County, they have locations to drop off household toxins on April 9th, May 6th, and May 20th. Materials that may be dropped off include:

“Paints, stains, varnishes, pesticides, herbicides, poisons, gasoline and other fuels, solvents and strippers, aerosols, motor oil and filters, gas cylinders (BBQpit size or smaller), fluorescent tubes, rechargeable batteries, anti-freeze, brake and transmission fluids, pool chemicals and other acids and bases, car batteries, wood preservatives, drive sealant, and mercury-containing items (thermometers, thermostats, salts).”

Your community (if you are in the United States, Canada or western Europe) likely has a program for environmentally safer disposal of household wastes as well. If you live elsewhere… (I brought my rechargeable nickel batteries back to the States with me so I could dispose of them properly rather than having them end up in the Bucharest landfill).

Grace and Peace

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