It’s time to throw out the nasty stuff — the rusty paint cans, broken stereos, prehistoric cell phones, that pile of used propane canisters, ancient pesticides and the vacuum cleaner that finally gave up.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) will host a free collection event for household hazardous waste disposal, electronic goods recycling and document shredding on Saturday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fenwick Island State Park, 36859 Coastal Highway, just north of Fenwick Island.
“The goal is to make this a convenient service for the residents,” said Sarah Culler, DSWA manager of education and outreach. “The weekday events are awesome … but sometimes the people who work during the week aren’t able to get away. The Saturday event provides them a convenient location to get rid of these things in a convenient way.”
The Saturday event is so convenient, in fact, that guests won’t even leave their cars.
“The goal is to keep residents inside their vehicles,” Cullers said. “So, basically, when you come to the event, there’ll be someone to greet you. … They’ll direct you to the place to go, and when you pull up to each section, they’ll just ask you to pop the trunk. Then you can go to the next station, or just head out when you’re finished.”
All DSWA collection events are restricted to Delaware residents and are held rain or shine. Those without Delaware vehicle license plates should bring other proof of residency, such as a utility bill.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize, when they’re going through the garage, just old things like even nail polish remover … technically that’s a hazardous substance. You don’t want to pour that down the drain,” Cullers said. “The goal is to keep these items out of our landfill, especially the chemicals that could be explosive. We don’t want the haulers picking them up in the truck.”
Approximately 70 types of special waste and recycling will be collected, including:
• Household hazardous waste — product containers marked with words, “Warning: Hazardous,” “Flammable,” “Poisonous,” “Corrosive” or “Explosive.” That could include household cleaners and workshop items, such as aerosol cans, bleach, chemistry kits, floor wax, mercury thermometers, mothballs, florescent lightbulbs, garden pesticides, pool chemicals, oil-based paints, solvents, stains/varnishes, small compressed gas tanks, nail polish/remover, antifreeze, auto batteries, used fuels and degreasers. (Explosives including ammunition, gunpowder and fireworks are permitted to be disposed of at the event. Used medical sharps/needles must be stored in a solid container.)
• Electronic goods recycling — electronic equipment, such as old computers, printers, keyboards, mice, cables, electric typewriters, calculators, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, video game systems, fax machines, telephones, televisions, VCRs, record players, audio amplifiers, camcorders, tape recorders and CD players. (“When you break them down, they’re basically metals and plastics,” Cullers said. “They can have some valuable components that we can recycle.”)
• Paper shredding — residents can bring up to two file boxes of personal, confidential papers (financial and legal documents, receipts, and tax and medical records) for shredding. Papers with staples or paper clips are accepted. Everything is shredded on-site.
Notably, freezers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers will not be accepted on March 30. (They can be recycled at other permanent DSWA locations, where refrigerant is safely removed by DSWA before the other materials are recycled.) Prescription drugs also will not be accepted (locations for disposal of drugs are listed online at www.helpisherede.com.)
Future Household Hazardous Waste Collections will be held June 22 at Seaford’s Nylon Capitol Shopping Center, July 27 at the Milford Transfer Station, Sept. 14 at Hocker’s Super Center in Clarksville, and Oct. 26 in Long Neck (location to be announced).
“DSWA is a state authority, not an agency. We don’t receive any tax dollars, so we use our revenue from tipping fees to help pay for these,” Cullers said of the collection events.
More details and the 2019 collection schedule are online at https://dswa.com/events or by calling the DSWA Citizens’ Response Line at 1-800-404-7080.
Various types of waste are collected on a regular basis at DSWA’s permanent facilities, including:
• Omar Collection Station, 33086 Burton Farm Road, Frankford;
• Long Neck Collection Station, 28963 Mount Joy Road, Millsboro;
• Harbeson Transfer Station, Route 5 east of Georgetown; and
• Jones Crossroads Landfill, Route 20 west of Georgetown.
By Laura Walter