Missoula Valley Water Quality District Hosts Household Haz Waste Days
Missoula County residents looking to safely dispose of hazardous substances such as gasoline, fertilizer and antifreeze can do so during Household Haz Waste Days on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It’s hosted by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District in partnership with Republic Services and the City of Missoula Fire Department and Public Works.
Missoula County residents can drop the following items off at the Missoula City Shops, 1305 Scott St., for no charge. A breakdown of charges for out-of-county residents and businesses is available at https://hazwastemissoula.com/hazwaste-days-event.
- Oil-based paints and stains
- Paint thinner
- Gasoline and other flammable liquids
- Aerosol paints
- Non-alkaline household batteries (alkaline batteries can be thrown away)
- Used motor oil (up to 15 gallons)
- Florescent lighting (up to six tubes, not bulbs)
- Mercury thermometers
- Pesticides banned under the EPA
Items accepted for a fee include:
- EPA-approved pesticides
- Strong acids
- Chlorinated solvents
Items not accepted include:
- Latex-based paints, which is not considered hazardous. Once it’s dried out, residents can remove the lid and throw it away.
- Car batteries, which can be recycled year-round at Republic Recycling, Batteries Plus, Pacific Recycling and at most car battery retailers.
- Empty aerosol cans (can be thrown out)
- Asbestos (contact Republic Services)
- Compact fluorescent bulbs, which are accepted for no charge at ACE Hardware, Home Depot and Lowe’s
- Consumer electronics (Best Buy and Staples will recycle most products for no charge)
- Radioactive waste
- Propane canisters
- Drain cleaners
A complete list detailing year-round disposal options for many hazardous materials is available at http://missoula.co/hazwastelist.
Although Haz Waste Days provides a way to safely and responsibly dispose of household hazardous waste, there is no perfect way to dispose of it. The manufacture and disposal of hazardous waste impacts the environment and public health, and the best way to reduce its impact is to create less of the product. People can reduce household hazardous waste by following these tips:
- Buy only what you need and use it up. Disposing of toxic products often costs more than buying them in the first place; stocking up on hazardous products is not a good idea.
- Give your usable leftovers to someone who can use them safely.
- Always use the least-toxic product available. Whenever possible, use latex or water-based paints and stains, which are less toxic than oil-based products. Missoula County Weed and Extension has information on less toxic alternatives for lawns and gardens. Call the Plant Clinic at 406-258-4213 or visit www.missoulaeduplace.org for more information.
Local health and fire agencies also urge people to clear out unneeded flammable liquids, such as oil-based paints, paint thinners, fuels, waste oil and solvents. These flammable products can be easily ignited and quickly accelerate a fire. They also pose a threat to the health of firefighters and neighbors when they are burned.
For more information on hazardous waste disposal, visit www.hazwastemissoula.com or call 406-258-4890.