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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Contact:
David Baker, Education and Outreach Specialist (360) 754-3355 ext. 7669

Record Number of Residents Dispose of Toxic Wastes at Wastemobile Event


Olympia- A record number of Thurston County residents safely disposed of toxic household products at the Thurston County WasteMobile event in Olympia last weekend. (September 23rd through the 25th )  The Wastemobile served more than 700 people and collected a staggering 14.5 tons of hazardous wastes in a parking lot at Westfield Shoppingtown Capital Mall.

The WasteMobile is a traveling collection station that accepts pesticides, paints, batteries, car fluids and other hazardous products found in many households. The program offers a convenient way for residents to dispose of and recycle these dangerous products free of charge. 

Pesticides, paints, batteries, and motor oil comprised the bulk of products brought to the Olympia event. "We're really pleased to provide this service," said David Baker, the event organizer and an environmental educator with the county. "It's great that people understand these products shouldn't go in the garbage, yard, or down the drain."

Liz Hoenig, groundwater protection program coordinator for the City of Olympia , said residents who safely dispose of dangerous household products play an important role in protecting local water supplies. "Twenty percent of our drinking water supply comes from Allison Springs wells, which are recharged by rainfall from much of Olympia's west side, " she said. "Proper disposal of these products ensures they won't be contaminating our drinking water."

The WasteMobile has served more than 3,300 residents and collected more than 83 tons of hazardous materials since the program began in the year 2000. Events have been held in Tumwater, Yelm, Grand Mound, Tenino, Rainier and Olympia . The last Olympia event was held in 2003. The next WasteMobile event will be held in the spring of 2006.

Residents who missed the event at the mall may still bring household hazardous products to HazoHouse at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center off Interstate 5 at exit 111. HazoHouse is a free service and is open year-round on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 786-5494 ext. 4 or the TDD line 754-2933, or visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/wwm.

The event this past weekend was sponsored by the county Solid Waste Program and Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, in partnership with the City of Olympia Groundwater Protection Program and the LOTT Wastewater Alliance.

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3