How to dispose of hazardous waste Los Angeles California
It is pretty easy to assume that all the toxic waste dumped into our environment comes at the hands of big, faceless businesses -- most of it does. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 1.6 million tons of hazardous waste originates from American households each year.
Dangerous chemicals lurk in old cans of paint or forgotten pharmaceuticals stuffed in the medicine cabinet. Batteries and outdated cell phones are replaced and pitched in the kitchen garbage, only to wind up leaking toxic mercury and lead in a landfill.
But knowing how to properly discard these household items can often be a mystery. If they can't go in a garbage can, where do these chemically potent waste oddities go?
The acid inside batteries turns corrosive and dangerous when burned or pitched in a landfill. About 3 billion batteries are purchased and then discarded each year, so the city's recycling programs have made it easy to dispose of them. Most Walgreens in the Chicago area accept batteries at their photo counters. Chicago public libraries and many alderman offices (found online at egov.cityofchicago.org) also have bins for disposing of old batteries.
If you've ever moved or remodeled a home, you probably have stacks of paint cans in your garage or basement. If you want to get rid of those half-filled cans -- or find free paint -- many city programs, such as Chicago's Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility, have a paint exchange. They will take paint off your hands (no latex) or give you paint that others have turned in (this sentence as published has been corrected in this text).
Tons of electronic items, such as cell phones, computers, TVs, PDAs and MP3 players, are thrown away each year. Not only do these items contain hazardous materials, but in many cases they still have shelf life. After you replace your old PC or cell phone with a sleek, new model, consider donating your old one. Numerous charities and organizations will gladly take your used electronics. Chicago Computers for Schools (pcsforschools.org) takes donations at its center, 3053 N. Knox Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Chicago-based Recycle Tech Solutions (RTS; recycletech.org or 773-821-9700) will buy old cell phones and donate the money to the charity of your choice. Any electronic device can also be taken to a center accepting household hazardous waste (HHW).
Many Walgreens, Cartridge Worlds and Staples will refill ink cartridges for you. If you want to dispose of a cartridge, go to Recycle Tech Solutions, which sells them to a company that will repurpose them.
Expired or unneeded medications, traces of which have wound their way into our drinking water, perhaps are the hardest thing to dispose of properly. Federal law dictates that a police officer must be present when a pharmacy takes back medication, so most pharmacies do not have take-back programs. However, five police stations around the city have drop-off bins; for more information and locations, call 312-744-7672 or see the City of Chicago recycling Web site: egov.cityofchicago.org/recycling.
Fluorescent light bulbs
All fluorescent lights contain enough mercury to be hazardous. If one burns out, take it to an Ace Hardware or Home Depot. As long as the bulb is intact, the mercury is contained.
This term applies to anything containing corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients such as paint, cleaners or pesticides.
A few facilities in the area accept HHW year-round. In the city, the Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility at 1150 N. Branch St. is open 7 a.m. to noon Tuesdays; 2 to 7 p.m. Thursdays; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Saturday of every month. The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (lakecountyil.gov/swalco or 847-336-9340) also has a recycling center at 1311 N. Estes Ave. in Gurnee that takes drop-offs on the second Saturday of every month. In Naperville, Fire Station No. 4, 1971 Brookdale Rd., will also accept HHW on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Chicago will host HHW neighborhood collections April 18 in the parking lot of U.S. Cellular Field and May 9 in the North Side DeVry parking lot at 3300 N. Campbell Ave.
A €1.7bn sarcophagus has been designed to contain killer toxic nuclear fuel and dust Stephen StarrChernobyl 0
A memorial in still-abandoned Pripyat to the “suicide squad” of firefighters who initially fought the Chernobyl disaster. Previous ImageNext Im