Hazardous waste collections begin April 14

NASHUA – After some unseasonably warm weather, many people are thinking about spring cleaning. The 2012 household hazardous waste season begins just in time to help you empty your basement, garage and shed.

The first collection of 2012 will be from 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 14, at the Nashua Public Works Garage, 9 Stadium Drive, Nashua. Visit www.nashuarpc.org/hhw for the 2012 collection schedule. Residents of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Nashua, Pelham and Windham are welcome to attend.

There is a $10 user fee per vehicle, which covers up to 10 gallons or 20 pounds of waste. Residents who bring more than this amount will be charged accordingly to help offset the additional costs. A variety of common household hazardous waste products are accepted at the collection events. Household hazardous waste comes from everyday products used in the home and yard. By definition, these products are corrosive, flammable, toxic or reactive. Nonlatex paints, solvents, oven cleaners, pool chemicals, pesticides, drain openers, and auto chemicals are a few examples. For a complete list of accepted items, visit www.nashuarpc.org/hhw or call 424-2240.

Electronics are also collected at all household hazardous waste events. There is a small fee for electronics recycling. Prices vary by item, but most common household electronics are $5. For a complete price list, visit www.nashuarpc.org/hhw. If you only bring electronics to an household hazardous waste collection you do not have to pay the $10 user fee. However, if you bring electronics and other household hazardous wastes, there is a $10 user fee in addition to the electronics charge.

As a reminder, latex paint is not accepted at collection events; instead it should be dried out and disposed of at your local landfill or transfer station. Medications are also not accepted at household hazardous waste collection events. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration is sponsoring a national drug take back collection in communities across the country from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 28,. To find out if your community is participating, visit www.justice.gov/dea.

There are more benefits to participating in a household hazardous waste collection than cleaning out your garage or basement. When hazardous waste is improperly disposed of in the trash, on the ground, down the sink, or into a storm drain, it poses a threat to water quality and can kill fish and wildlife. Household toxins can also injure humans and pets if they are exposed to these chemicals due to careless storage and handling.

Furthermore, growing demand for the newest technology has resulted in a significant number of discarded electronics. In addition to the large volume of space these items take up in landfills, their improper disposal poses serious environmental risks due to hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, commonly found in electronics. Discarded electronics also contain valuable resources, such as precious metals, engineered plastics, and glass, which require significant energy to manufacture. When electronics are disposed of instead of recycled, these resources cannot be recovered and additional pollution is generated in order to manufacture new products.

For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste Program, visit www.nashuarpc.org/hhw or call 424-2240.