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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 12, 2006
Jennifer Johnson, Education and Outreach Specialist (360) 754-4111 ext. 7631

Wastemobile Collects Tons of Hazardous Materials

OLYMPIA – The WasteMobile in Tenino collected and safely disposed of 4.5 tons of hazardous materials in the course of one weekend, May 6-7.  Thank you to everyone who cleared out their unwanted household hazardous products from well houses, cupboards, garages, and basements to help protect our community's health.  Improperly used and stored hazardous materials pose a threat to our ground water which most of us in Thurston County tap into for drinking water.  Properly disposing of products rather than storing them for long periods of time reduces the risk of leaks, spills, and contamination of water and soil.

Eighty-eight households participated in the collection.  "We're really glad to help," said David Baker, the event organizer and an Environmental Educator with the County.  "It's great to see that people understand this stuff shouldn't go in their garbage, on their yard, or down the drain.  We cleared out some old and nasty chemicals this weekend."

Motor oil and auto batteries were common products disposed of.  Country Car Care in Tenino accepts used motor oil, Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 p.m.  The Rainier Drop Box accepts car batteries Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Rochester Drop Box accepts used oil filters and car batteries and is open Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Grand Mound Diesel, Yelm Schuck's and Yelm Jiffy Lube also accept used motor oil.  There is no charge to recycle used motor oil or to use the County drop boxes.  These services mean that you don't have to store hazardous materials waiting for the next collection event!

Unsure whether a product is hazardous? Signal words on the label indicate whether a product is considered hazardous and the level of toxicity.  The terms "danger" and "poison" on the label indicate that a product is highly hazardous and should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  The terms "caution" and "warning" mean that the product is mildly to moderately hazardous and should also be disposed of as hazardous waste.  The lack of one of these "signal words" (danger, poison, warning, caution) on a modern product means that the product is not considered toxic and can be disposed of in the regular trash.  These signal words can be used to choose the least-toxic products when shopping.

Residents can bring household hazardous products, free, any time of year to HazoHouse at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center off Interstate 5 at exit 111.  HazoHouse is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8 to 5.  For more information, call 360-357-2491 or the TDD line 754-2933.  Or check the website at www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3