With Fall upon us and Winter on the horizon, it is a good time to tidy up before the colder weather seats in. As a part of our service to Hudson County residents, the Hudson County Improvement Authority will be hosting Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days at locations across the County to allow residents with the opportunity to dispose of a number of hazardous household items. Through a sponsorship in part by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste and the HCIA, this program is free of charge to Hudson County residents (proof of residency is required).

Accepted items include:

  • Antifreeze
  • Cleaners & Corrosives
  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Formaldehyde
  • Oil Based Paints & Varnishes
  • Old Gasoline
  • Pesticides & Herbicides
  • Pool & Photographic Chemicals
  • Propane Tanks (from Barbecue Grills Only!)
  • Rechargeable & Car Batteries
  • Smoke Detectors- NOW ACCEPTED!
  • Solvents & Thinners
  • Thermostats
  • Tires
  • Used Motor Oil

If you have any of these items sitting around your home, not only are they taking up space but they also could pose a health risk to residents, especially children. Kids love to explore new things which could include harmful household hazardous waste. It is best for everyone that these items be disposed of properly.

Improper disposal of household hazardous waste can not only pollute the environment but can also pose a threat to the health of humans and animals. Certain types of liquid-based household hazardous waste disposed of down a drain or flushed down a toilet can not only damage plumbing systems but could also cause physical injury to sanitation workers. Other HHW products, such as fluorescent light bulbs and car batteries contain hazardous chemicals that are corrosive, poisonous and ozone depleting. Keep human health and the environment in mind- bring your items to an HHW Collection Days!

What Happens Next?
Some hazardous waste materials are stabilized and solidified in order to safely enter a landfill. Other wastes can be treated and recycled into products such as pavement filling. Another treatment is cement-based solidification and stabilization. Cement improves physical characteristics while decreasing the toxicity and transmission of contaminants. Flammable hazardous wastes are incinerated in order to generate energy from the gases released in the process.

Remember the Smoke Detectors!
New for 2018, the HCIA is accepting used smoke detectors at HHW Collection Days. Residential smoke detectors have a 10-year life span and indicate the end of their useable life by a constant chirping. Most residential smoke detectors are ionization chamber smoke detectors which contain a small amount of radioactive metal and as such should never be placed in residential garbage. The isotope Americium 241 is most commonly used in smoke detectors and has a half-life of 458 years. When the used smoke detector is sent to a facility for proper disposal, the isotope is contained and the other materials including plastic, gold and metals are recycled. If you have replaced or are planning to replace your smoke detectors, please bring them with you to HHW Collection Days.

Let the Rubber Hit the Road & Recycle Your Tires!
The HCIA HHW Collection Days also offer residents with the opportunity to properly dispose of no more than four tires free of charge. Scrap tires pose a major threat to health and the environment. It is estimated that every year, 8.4 million scrap tires are generated in New Jersey but only 25% of these tires are recycled properly. The remainder of these tires are either abandoned or end up in landfills. Discarded tires can collect water which can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes which can spread West Nile Virus. Further, as tires decay, they pose a fire hazard, in addition to becoming homes to rodents and snakes. Since tires are mostly composed of rubber, they do not decompose but instead float in a landfill which causes compaction problems. Other materials in tires such as fiber, textile and steel cords- all of which do not compose.

Bouncing the Tires to be Recycled
For years, the primary method of disposal for scrap tires has been incineration for their fuel value. With the emergence of new technologies has come new methods for the repurposing of scrap tires. Scrap tires can be sued for construction purposes including as sub-grade fill for roads, landfill projects and septic system drain fields. Tires can also be shredded and recycled for recreational purposes such as surfacing on basketball courts and rubber mulch for playgrounds. Other uses include flooring materials, patio decks, sidewalks and moveable speed bumps.

Don’t Forget About the Computers!
Residents are also invited to dispose of old computer equipment during Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days. Items collected free of charge include computer towers, laptops, monitors, keyboards, tablets and cell phones- you can even bring computer mice. Other electronic items such as printers and televisions will not be accepted at these events.

Personal electronics such as computers, tablets and cell phones contain a treasure-trove of personal information such as passwords, banking information, photos and documents. Disposing of these items through the HCIA’s program is the safest way to ensure that these devices do not end up in the wrong hands. For example, computer hard drives are removed and shredded prior to the remainder of the device being sent out for dismantling and recycling. Residents can rest assured that their personal information is secure.

How are Computers Recycled?
How are computers recycled? The computer is placed through a heavy-duty shredder which breaks the device down into smaller chunks. Chunks are then sent through a laser-powered optical sorting system which identifies that properties of each chunk and then places them into bins for individual recyclable materials such as plastics, metals and computer chips. These bins are then sold for re-purposing. For example, plastic parts used in computers are composed of flame-retardant materials which are then reused for the production of new technology materials.

See you at HHW Collection Days!
Proper disposal of household hazardous waste is not only a good way to be environmentally conscious, but also protects the health of humans and animals. We look forward to seeing you at this free service provided to Hudson County residents!


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