HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Pesticides, oil paint, and batteries; they’re common household products that many of us store in our garage or under the sink, but they’re also hazardous.
Getting rid of hazardous household materials is more complicated than you might think. To simplify the process, Holyoke’s Department of Public Works offered a hazardous waste collection on Saturday to give a residents a chance to safely dispose of the toxic unused or leftover products that contain toxic chemicals.
Susan Woods of Holyoke told 22News hazardous materials have been building up in her home which is why she preregistered for the event. “I have too many things that I knew I couldn’t throw out, they were hazardous and I knew I had to get rid of them,” she said.
Residents were allowed to bring up to 10-lbs of household hazardous waste to a garage on Canal Street. Men and women in white hazmat suits then removed the waste from their cars, and sorted it into the various bins to make sure none of the chemicals were mixed together.
Ken Hebert of Holyoke brought in a truck load of his neighbor’s hazardous waste. “There is some old finisher and paint, and some old pool supplies, that kind of thing. It gets it put it in the right place, not a landfill where it doesn’t belong,” he said.
If hazardous waste is just thrown out, it can cause a threat to sanitation workers, landfill operators, animals, and the environment.
Reactive supervisor Chris Wong told 22News the components in toxic chemicals need to be altered before they can be thrown away. “Typically, they’ll get neutralized, and then, once they’re neutralized, they’re pretty much salt and water. Then, they can be land filled. Most of the pesticides and things like that are little more complex, they’ll go to direct incineration,” he said.