Residents of Yolo County can now take advantage of household hazardous waste (HHW) drop-off days at the Yolo County Central Landfill free of charge.
As of Oct. 1, HHW is accepted every Friday and Saturday between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Yolo County Central Landfill located at 44090 County Road 28H. In prior months, drop off days were only held once a month.
“The household hazardous waste drop-offs are providing a service to residents who live in Yolo County,” said Linda Sinderson, deputy director of the Yolo County planning and public works, “so that they are able to dispose of hazardous waste properly as opposed to throwing the hazardous materials in the trash, which causes environmental and health concerns.”
Yolo County has seen a 10 to 15 percent increase in the volume of waste brought in by the public in the last seven years. Weekly drop off collection days have only recently begun and the percentage of collected waste is expected to increase as the service becomes more available to the community.
Left unprocessed, HHW can cause serious health and environmental defects on account of its toxicity, ignitability, corrosivity and reactivity.
“Some hazardous materials are flammable and others should not be stored near each other because of potential dangers with interaction and old medicines have expiration dates after which you don’t want to take them,” Sinderson said.
“So, with that being said, it is always better to remove hazardous waste that you are not using instead of just letting it sit around. A trip to our HHW facility, where the waste can be disposed of properly or reused, is better than leaving it around, where it is potentially a risk.”
The Yolo County landfill limits the amount of waste an individual can bring in each visit to 125 pounds or 15 gallons of HHW per vehicle. This is in accordance with the Department of Transportation regulation. The law is in place to prevent dangerous complications on the road.
In addition to HHW, electronic waste can be recycled at the Yolo County central landfill every day at no cost. E-waste includes televisions, monitors, computer components, microwaves and other small electronics. Medical or infectious waste, explosives and fireworks are not accepted on HHW drop off days.
Though the new schedule has been intact all month, some students said they were unaware of the program’s existence.
“I don’t really think college students think about things like hazardous waste,” said junior early modern and medieval studies major Sara Wilson. “But now that I know about it, I think it’s awesome for students to have access to hazardous waste disposal.”
Small items like batteries and CDs are currently collected at on-campus locations including the Memorial Union and the ARC. However, the campus locations do not collect large items.
“I will definitely be bringing in my hazardous waste once I accumulate enough of it. What a great service to have available to UCD students,” Wilson said.
California state law identifies HHW to include acids, antifreeze, automotive products, batteries, transmission fluid, cooking oils, fire extinguishers, floor and furniture cleaners, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, gasoline and flammables, mercury thermometers, paint of oil and latex base, pesticides and herbicides, pharmaceuticals, poisons, pool chemicals, solvents, syringes and used motor oil and filters.
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