We are very
careful about how we handle food. If we prepare chicken, turkey, beef etc., we disinfect the area afterward so as not to spread
bacteria. We throw scraps and paper towels with the bacteria in them into the garbage to rot. We put old food into the garbage
and it gets moldy and full of bacteria. Look at the 'foodsafe program' and you will understand there are bacteria and molds
we have to protect ourselves from.
We put diapers
(for babies, the ill and the elderly), kitty litter, many different chemical substances like the ones you see in the picture
on this page, electronic equipment, old makeup, oil, perfumes, paint, cleaning solutions, deodorizers, unused or partially taken prescriptions
and many other substances . We then take the mixture of all of these things and press and compact over and over. The fluid
we are left with is garbage leachate and unlike the garbage leachate in the municipal landfills this leachate is being spread
all over the streets and lanes of major cities.
Once the garbage leachate
is spread all over the streets and lanes it is sprayed and splashed all over us before being washed into the sewer system.
What ever goes into the sewers flows directly into the waterways.
If it is dry outside the garbage
leachate dries and when driven over gets kicked up into the air where it becomes part of the fine particulate matter in the
smoggy air we all breathe.
walk our children through the garbage leachate, wheel our strollers through it (then our children play with the wheels of
the stroller), ride our bikes through it, drive our cars and trucks through it and walk our pets through it. Our children
play on the same lanes and streets. This has been happening since 1938 when these compactor garbage trucks were first built
in the United States.
In the 1930's heart disease
was almost unheard of and then from 1940 until 1960 there was such an increase in heart disease it became an epidemic.
In the 1930's asthma was
unheard of and yet now asthma is a very serious problem. The things we have been putting into the environment have been creating
illnesses since the 1930's and our communities have not even been aware it has been happening. When most people see a leaky garbage truck they think
it is just dirty water. This is garbage leachate, not water.
We should be taking the
example of how Crow Wing County, Minnesota began to address the recycling of hazardous substances.
HAZARD IN THE HOME :
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE
Many of the products that we use at home contain substances that
are hazardous. Paints, cleaners, garden chemicals, automotive products and aerosol cans are all examples of products we may
have around the home that are hazardous. When these products are no longer useful they become household hazardous waste (HHW).
Household hazardous waste can not only threaten the health and
safety of our families and ourselves, but also cause damage to the environment. The water we drink, the air we breathe, and
the fish and wildlife we enjoy here in central Minnesota can also be harmed by HHW, but it doesn't have to be that way.
WHEN IS SOMETHING CONSIDERED HAZARDOUS?
Household hazardous waste (HHW) has at least one of the following
FLAMMABLE: The label may say "Combustible," "Inflammable," "Petroleum
Distillates," etc. These products could easily catch on fire.
TOXIC: "Poisonous," "Harmful or fatal if swallowed," etc. These
products may cause immediate harm, or cause long term health problems, such as cancer.
CORROSIVE: "Acid," "Lye," "Alkali," etc. these products can eat
through skin or other materials, such as metal.
REACTIVE: "Do notmix with other chemicals" These products can
react with other chemicals or products, possibly releasing toxic or flammable gases, igniting, or even exploding.
The only way to determine the hazards involved in using a specific
product is by reading the label.
Before buying or using a potentially hazardous product read the
entire label buy the least hazardous product you can, and follow the directions carefully. .........
While the proper disposal of HHW is important it is costly. The
cost to Crow Wing County taxpayers to dispose of some types of waste is more than the original purchase price. Improper disposal,
however, costs us all a great deal more, not only in terms of monetary expense, but in quality of life as well. By reducing
the amount of waste you produce, you can reduce taxpayer costs while reducing your own expenses.
Avoid buying products that are hazardous
Use up existing products before buying more
Purchase only the quantity you need to avoid
having to store lazardous waste in your home
Store hazardous products properly
try to use up leftovers, or give them to someone who can ~~ empty
containers are not hazardous.
DISPOSING OF HHW RESPONSIBLY
Household hazardous waste must be disposed of properly to protect
the environment. HHW placed in the trash can contaminate landfills, causing water pollution and expensive clean up. Likewise,
HHW dumped on the ground can contaminate ground and surface waters. The soil doesn't "magically" filter hazardous chemicals
away. Waste poured in a storm drain goes directly to our lakes and rivers. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems
are not designed to process hazardous waste so HHQ shouldn't be put down the drain. Fortunately, proper disposal is not difficult.
Please follow the guidelines below - for the environment, for yourself, and for your family.
CROW WING COUNTY PROVIDES FOR DISPOSAL OF MOST TYPES OF HHW.
Crow Wing County Solid Waste Department conducts HHW collections
April - October at the Crow Wing County Landfill. Collections days are on the 2nd Wednesday and the 2nd Saturday of each month.
WHERE DOES HHW GO?
After household hazardous waste is collected from residents, it
is sorted by categories defined by the Department of Transportation and the hazardous waste transporter. Paints and most solvents
are bulked in 55-gallon drums, while most other wastes are inventoried by active ingredient and packed in drums lined with
plastic and packed with sawdust or other absorbent, non-reactive material. After proper labeling and approval from the hazardous
waste transporter, a manifest is completed, with copies going to the appropriate agencies. The waste is then sent to a U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency approved treatment facility, where it is treated in a number of ways.
RECYCLING: Some household products are recycled, so that they
can be reused, or used in a different product. Antifreeze, mercury, fluorescent bulbs, and latex paint can all be recycled
to some degree. While not all wastes can currently be recycled, recycling is the most desirable way for wastes to be treated.
FUEL BLENDING: Solvent-based and other liquid flammable wastes
that do not contain chlorine and certain other elements are blended with petroleum fuel and burned in cement kilns. These
facilities burn the wastes at high temperatures, and are EPA approved. While burning always causes some degree of air pollution,
using wastes as fuel reduces the amount of fuel that must be produced.
INCINERATION: Hazardous wastes that cannot be recycled or burned
as fuel are usually incinerated. These wastes are incinerated at very high temperatures in specially designed EPA approved
hazardous waste incinerators. The high temperatures insure that hazardous chemicals are completely broken down. Pesticides,
herbicides, poisons, and some oil-based paint products are treated with this process. Since the fuel value contained in these
items is wasted, and some air pollution does occur from incineration, this is a less desirable treatment option than recycling
or fuel blending. Even so, this process is vastly superior than improper disposal such as dumping, burying, or burning.
SPECIFIC DISPOSAL INFORMATION
ADHESIVES: Glues, cements, roof coatings, and other adhesives
often contain flammable solvents. Buy water-based adhesives whenever possible. Leftover adhesives can be dried out by spreading
over cardboard or newspaper, since dried-out adhesive may be thrown in the trash.
AEROSOLS: Avoid buying aerosols when possible. To prevent clogging
after use. hold the can upside down and spray until only gas escapes. Empty aerosol cans may be thrown in the trash, so try
to use them up. Partially full aerosol cans can be brought to a HHW collection or to the HHW facility.
AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVES: Cannot be accepted at a HHW collection
event or facility. Call your local police department for disposal.
APPLIANCES: Many appliances contain hazardous substances, and
are recyclable. Old appliances should be brought to an appliance recycler.
ASBESTOS: Asbestos insulation, tile, and siding if removed by
the homeowner, should be placed in two garbage bags (one inside the other) and marked
"Asbestos fiber." Asbestos can generally go to a landfill. Call
your garbage hauler or local landfill for information. Roof tar or cement that contains asbestos can be treated as any other
ANTIFREEZE: Beginning Jamuary 1, 1998, citizens may no longer
dispose antifreeze in the drain. Making the right choices now is easier than living with the consequences later. Reduce the
amount of hazardous waste in your home-- purchase wisely, and dispose of responsibly.
PRODUCT EXCHANGE: The Crow Wing County Houshold Hazardous Waste
Facility's Product Exchange is available at no cost for county residents 18 years or older.
If you have a product that is usable and stored in the original
container and is in good condition you may bring it to the HHW Facility where it will be accepted at no charge.
If you need a product or are looking for that special item then
check our Household Hazardous Waste Facility's Product Exchange before buying new. You can use only what you need and return
what you don't use!
If you must buy a product containing hazardous material, buy only
what you need and use it up. If you can't use it all up, give it to a friend or donate the leftovers to the Product Exchange.
VERY SMALL QUANTITY GENERATOR (VSQG)
Minnesota hazardous Waste rules allow VSQG's, those who generate
220 pounds or less hazardous waste per month, to deliver their known waste in their own vehicle to a licensed VSQG Collection
Starting in 2002, in conjuction with the Northwest Minnesota HHW
program located in Bagley, Minnesota, the County will host two VSQG days - one in the spring and one in the fall. Call the
Crow Wing County Solid Waste Office for more information.