Open a cupboard in your kitchen, basement, or garage. Read a few labels. If they contain any of these words: CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER, POISON, those products may contain hazardous materials. Hazardous to you, hazardous to your family and hazardous to our environment if not used up or disposed of properly.
Don't throw them in the garbage.
Don't pour them in the sewer.
Don't pour them on the ground.
Household hazardous wastes (HHW) and problem materials may contain hazardous components and require special disposal. When processed or disposed with mixed municipal solid waste, HHW and problem materials may pollute the water or air, release a hazardous substance to the environment, or affect the safe or efficient operation of a solid waste facility.
You may submit an application to Hennepin County Environmental Services to host a household hazardous waste collection day in your neighborhood. Help publicize HHW collection events in your area.
Hennepin County will select the sites and dates after applications are received. The county's HHW contractor will conduct each collection and transport the wastes off-site at the end of the day.
Neighborhoods in other counties are encouraged to contact their county solid waste office about collections in their area.
Each Hennepin County neighborhood event is expected to collect and safely dispose of HHW and problem materials from 150-200 residents at a location convenient to them.
On average, each participant will drop off 50 pounds of HHW and problem materials, including:
Flammable liquids (e.g., gasoline, fuel,furniture oil, paint thinner, nail polish remover)
Lab packs (e.g., pesticides, acids, bases,adhesives, reactives, oxidizers)
Paint (latex and oil-based)
How to organize:
Have your neighborhood organization submit an application to Hennepin County Environmental Services by February 20, 2004. The HHW event cannot be held in conjunction with a neighborhood "Clean Sweep."
Plan to serve 150-200 participants per event. Estimate a 2.6% participation rate from the total housing units in the service area (e.g., 7,000 housing units x 2.6% would result in 182 participants). To achieve those results, consider working with a surrounding neighborhood(s).
Review the list of site criteria and assist the county in finding an appropriate site in your area. For example, Minneapolis Public Schools allowed the county to hold HHW collections in several school parking lots during 2003.
Work with the county to publicize the event in your area. For example, distribute flyers to neighbors, print news releases in your newsletter, send e-mail notifications to neighbors, or include inserts in your neighborhood newsletter.
For more information:
Please contact Amy Roering, Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services at 612-348-8992 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the HHW application in MS Word format (53K)
Download the HHW application in PDF format (154K)
Download HHW event site criteria - PDF format (62K)