Stuck with used batteries, fuels, propane tanks or fluorescent light bulbs? Douglas County residents have two upcoming opportunities to safely dispose of potentially dangerous household chemicals.
Tri-County Health Department is hosting a …
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Tri-County Health Department is hosting a Household Chemical Roundup from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 12 at Redstone Park, 3270 Redstone Park Circle, Highlands Ranch, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 30 at 175 Kellog Court, Castle Rock.
Douglas County Household Chemical Roundup Program is an annual effort for residents to dispose and recycle hazardous chemicals in a “safe, legal, and environmentally-sound manner,” Tri-County Health Department says. The first roundup of 2017 held in May in Parker collected 96,632 pounds of material and served an estimated 882 households. The 2016 Highlands Ranch roundup served an estimated 1,523 households in one day.
The impact is far-reaching: improper disposal of chemical wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health, according to the EPA. If left around the house, they can be hazards to children and pets.
Brian Hlavacek, environmental health director of Tri-County Health, said: “The impacts of removing hazardous products from homes reduces the risk of fire hazards and the potential for accidental poisonings all while protecting our environment.”
Sherry Eppers, community relations manager of Highlands Ranch Metro District — which, along with Centennial Sanitation and Water District, hosts the Highlands Ranch roundup — added that chemical waste harms water supply and storm drainage, if not correctly disposed.
“For us,” Eppers said of the roundup, “it’s a water-quality benefit.”
Accepted items include house, garden and pool chemicals; paint and paint products — though the metro district encourages donating leftover paint to a paint supply company; fuels and propane tanks; vehicle and household batteries; items containing mercury; aerosols; fluorescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps; and passenger vehicle and pickup truck tires, removed from rims.
Items not accepted include businesses’ and commercial waste; radioactive waste; electronic or explosive waste; smoke detectors; waste containing asbestos; tractor tires or scrap metal.
For a $25 fee and proof of Douglas County residence, guests can drop off their chemical waste without exiting their vehicles. The event requires the help of nearly 100 volunteers, which the metro district needs.
“It really relies on volunteers for a variety of roles,” said Kari Larese, community relations coordinator of the metro district.
Those include lifting materials out of vehicles, checking identification, taking money and sorting materials at different stations. Morning, afternoon and all-day shifts are offered, with lunch and water provided.
The volunteer opportunity counts as community service hours for high school students and serves as a great team-building experience, said Larese. Sports teams from local schools have helped in the past.
“You’re working hard,” Larese said, “and you really feel like you’re contributing.”
To volunteer, visit volunteerconnectdc.org and search “household chemical roundup.”
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