June 4, 2003 — It's not often that someone begs for hazardous materials with a flier that reads: "Wanted!: Your Household Hazardous Waste."
But on Sunday, June 22, the city of Culver is sponsoring a free hazardous waste pickup at City Hall.
Co-sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Quality, the three-hour event begins at noon and will allow residents to safely dispose of potentially hazardous items found under the sink, in the garage or lurking in the basement.
"The idea is that people don't dump these in the landfills or their back yards," said Culver Public Works Director E.V. Smith. "They can come here and get rid of it."
Household hazardous waste products are labeled with terms such as "danger," "warning," or "caution." Pesticides, heavy metals and flammables are all forms of hazardous waste.
When improperly disposed of, these materials can cause severe health problems, seep into soil and groundwater or endanger sanitation workers at landfills.
Items being accepted include, but are not limited to, the following: lighter fluid, solvents, heavy-duty cleaners, kerosene gas, motor oil, paint thinners, wood preservatives, weed killers, flea collars, pesticides, fluorescent tubes, nickel-cadmium batteries, pool and spa chemicals, antifreeze and brake fluids.
"We'll take anything unmarked," Smith said. "If people don't know what it is, bring it in and we'll take it without charging for it."
Asbestos items, however, will not be accepted.
For more information on acceptable items, Smith encourages citizens to call him at 546-6494.
The city of Culver was awarded a grant to host the event in conjunction with the DEQ. Several similar hazardous waste collections are happening in communities across the state.
Of note, citizens who turn in a mercury thermometer will be rewarded with a free digital thermometer to replace it.
The waste collection is open to anyone.