Archive for Thursday, September 10, 2009

Five Questions: Chemical Welfare

September 10, 2009, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: September 15, 2009, 4:57 p.m.

Betsy Livingston, Johnson County Environmental hazardous materials program manager, answers questions about her sometimes dangerous program.

Q: How do Johnson County residents make arrangements to drop off household hazardous waste at your site?

A: We're available by appointment only. Residents should call (913) 715-6900 or make an appointment online by going to our Web site: http://jced.jocogov.org/hazardous_materials/hhw_index.htm . We're open weekdays and the second Saturday of every month from March through October. We give directions when they schedule appointments.

Q: What are some examples of household hazardous waste that residents can get out of their homes by taking it to your site?

A: We take paint, varnish, stains, pesticides, herbicides, cleaning supplies, solvents and batteries. We'll take automotive supplies like antifreeze, oil and brake fluid. We'll take tires but only four per appointment. There's a good list of what we'll accept at our Web site.

  Q: Are the items or materials you won't accept?

A: We won't take explosives, medical waste or radioactive materials. We've had people bring live hand grenades and mortars. We've had the bomb squad out here on several occasions.

We won't take solid waste like construction materials.

Q: What about used electronics?

A: We accept electronics on the dates we're open on the second Saturday of the month. There is a nominal fee for computer monitors and TVs. It's now $10 monitors and $15 for TVs. That's subject to change.

Q: One man's waste could be another man's treasure. Are any of the materials you collect available for reuse?

A: Absolutely. We have big reuse building. It's available for residents if they call ahead and we'll hook them up with someone on the staff. We put out everything that is in good quality.

We have paint. Sometimes we have colors, but we blend much of it together to make a grey or a light tan. We call in Johnson County earth tone. We have things like stains, varnish and car products. A lot of time, people bring in unopened antifreeze or brake fluid. We get a lot of caulk that is in good shape.

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