Household Hazardous Waste Guidelines

Delaware County sponsors several Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events annually. Each year, the number of participants and the weights, particularly computers and TVs increase. In 2008, we hosted four collection events, two of which offered computer and TV recycling. Additionally, we held a one-day Computer Only recycling event last spring. A record total of 5,512 residents participated in the program last year, removing over 454,787 pounds of hazardous materials from the waste stream. Of that total, computers and TVs made up 265,000 pounds. If you've ever participated in an event, you leave with a good feeling knowing you've disposed of your hazardous items in a responsible fashion.

To back up a bit, Delaware County has been hosting HHW Events since the early 1990's. By 1998, Delaware County joined forces with Bucks, Chester, Montgomery Counties as well as the City of Philadelphia in an effort to remove HHW from the environment collectively and more efficiently. The advantage for Delaware County residents is that if our scheduled events are not convenient, you may take your HHW to any one of the above counties' events. Consequently, in 2009, there will be more than twenty opportunities for you to properly dispose of your Household Hazardous Waste. A list of dates and locations for the entire region should be available by mid-February.

As a result of this cooperative program and in recognition of our efforts to remove hazardous materials from our environment, Delaware County and the Southeast Region were recipients of the 1999 and 2008 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. Additionally, this Program earned a 2007 PA Waste Watcher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Collections and Outstanding Achievement in Reuse for our commitment to recycling, waste reduction and reuse in the state of Pennsylvania. This five county program collectively removed more than 2 million pounds of hazardous waste from the environment, last year alone. Our choice of a hazardous waste vendor insures that as much of the waste that can be recycled, is. Examples include: motor oil is sent to a company that removes the dirt, the oil is then reused; propane tanks are drained, reusing the remaining propane; tanks are then examined and those that can be reused are sent to a propane company; those that cannot are sent to a scrap metal recycler.

Typically, item labels that contain the words: HAZARDOUS - DANGER - WARNING - POISONOUS and TOXIC, indicate items that contain hazardous material.

TYPICAL HHW INCLUDE: Oil-based Paint, Paint Thinned, Varnish, Kerosene, Gasoline, Motor Oil, Antifreeze, Weed Killers, Fungicides, Pesticides, Items containing Mercury, Propane Tanks weighing less than 20 lbs., Ni-Cad, Lithium, Rechargeable & Lead Acid Batteries, and Cell Phones.
Latex Paint is not hazardous and is not accepted at these one day hazardous waste events. Simply open the lid and let Latex Paint air dry. Leave the lids off when placing out with your regular trash. In the event that you have too much paint and it will not harden using this method:
1) Take two cardboard boxes
2) Line one with an outside trash bag
3) Place kitty litter in the trash bag
4) Dump all your Latex Paint into the bag containing the kitty litter
5) Stir. If it still seems to "runny" either add more kitty litter or shredded newspaper to the mix.
6) In the second box place the empty cans of paints putting the pints in the quarts and the quarts in the gallons. All lids MUST REMAIN OFF THE CANS.
7) Place both boxes out with your regular trash.

Improperly disposed HHW can pollute the groundwater, surface water, and the air we breathe. It can harm children, pets, and sanitation workers. Listed below are ways you can dispose of HHW in a responsible manner. Use up what you have by giving your wall another coat or go around the room or up the stairs where fingerprints are sure to gather. Share any leftovers with friends, neighbors, and family. Take motor oil, antifreeze, and car batteries to a service station that accepts them. A list of Delaware County's USED MOTOR OIL COLLECTION SITES can be found in this website under the heading of Automotive Products Recycling Sites Bring to an HHW Collection Event. Most Radio Shacks and Home Depots will take your Ni-Cad and Lithium batteries for recycling.

This year we will once again be hosting two computer and portable television recycling events. (TV's in wooden consoles or over 27” will not be accepted.) Both events will be held in conjunction with our Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events. Once again we will collect computers, scanners, printers, portable television sets and fax machines. Check under the topic of Computer and Television Recycling for further information.

Always looking to improve and expand on what we can recycle, we will again this year accept cell phones at all our HHW Collection Events for recycling. Cell phones may also be dropped off at the Solid Waste Authority's office at the Hunt Club in Rose Tree Park, 1521 N. Providence Road, Media, PA 19063, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

· Medical Waste, Explosives, Unidentified Waste, Ammunition, Appliances, Radioactive Waste, Tires, Latex Paint (See Topic entitled Latex Paint for proper disposal methods)