After you’ve sprayed the last of your bug spray at that pesky wasp, what do you do with the can? Do you toss it in the trash, or do you set it aside until you figure what you should do with it? Is it hazardous? If it is, then what do you do with it?
First, start looking at the containers to see if they say words like “caution,” “corrosive,” “danger,” “flammable” or “poison.” This should be a big clue that the item shouldn’t just be thrown in the trash.
The ReWorks’ Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center (HHWRC) provides a list household hazardous waste (HHW) items on its Website: www.summitreworks.com/hhw. If you’re still unsure of whether an item is hazardous, call the center at (330) 374-0383.
In our garage, we’ve got a couple boxes where we throw in items like old batteries, lighters and spray paint cans. But I was surprised to learn you could also put in items like nail polish and glue.
We’ve actually had these boxes of HHW materials lying around for three years. I kept meaning to drop them off at the HHWRC, located 1201 Graham Road, in Stow, but it’s only open Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. from the beginning of June until the end of September. I could just never get myself there.
Reworks’ Executive Director Marcie Kress says the limited hours are because the HHWRC is just one of eight programs ReWorks runs. She added that offering a weekly collection is more convenient for residents than the once- or twice-a-year collection some centers have.
This time, I made a concerted effort to drop these hazardous items off. I was tired of seeing them in my garage, and a bit nervous to have had them there for so long. I know the center can get very crowded, so I thought if I went around 2:15 p.m., it might not be bad.
I assumed wrongly. Kress told me the most crowded hours were between 2 and 4:30 p.m. Any time after 5 p.m. or in August and September and the lines will be much shorter, she said.
In the 20 minutes I spent from the time I got in line, workers removed the items from my car and then I drove away, I saw about 50 cars, both coming in and going out. Kress said the center can process one resident a minute. So don’t let the line you see on the center’s long driveway dissuade you. Though it should encourage you that so many people are trying to dispose of HHW responsibly.
Only residents of Summit County — not businesses or schools — may use the center. Most materials are handled by Enviroserve, which is contracted to handle their disposal. The HHWRC does handle a few items, namely passenger and light truck tires, for which residents pay a $1 per tire fee.
Kress said the center is currently focusing on collecting the toxic mercury found in old thermometers. That’s definitely not something you want lying around your house.
Actually, you probably don’t want a lot of these hazardous items in your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
For info, visit www.summitreworks.com/hhw.