Your Green Life: "Household Hazardous Waste WLSSD"

By KBJR News 1

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 7:37 AM CDT

Duluth, MN
What do you do with all the left over chemicals in your house?
Well WLSSD has been collecting hazardous solid waste to be properly discarded or reused for years. So what can you bring to them?

Heidi Ringhofer, the Solid Waste Services Director at WLSSD told me, "60% of the waste stream is latex paint, and then comes the oil based paint, we do see a lot of florescent lamps and batteries, old gasoline, oil, a lot of those common household products."

Basically anything that says "Toxic" on the label can be brought here.
But to avoid a collection of noxious chemicals the easy thing to do is know how much you will need to use.

Karen Anderson, the Director of Community Relations says, "First and foremost, what we've tried to advise people is to only buy what they need. Make sure that your taking a look at how many square feet of surface you need to paint for that bedroom."

The Household Hazardous Waste program has been so successful they had to expand, serving over 19–thousand residents last year alone.

"What we've done here is we've expanded our facility in a couple of ways both inside and outside. Inside we've more than doubled the floor space that we've devoted to the product reuse area." Said Anderson, "We've added many many shelves and so that with those things we can organize materials much better, people can find what they need very easily, and then they can be on their way easily too!"

They have also added a new touchscreen checkout.

"Once you locate the item that you need on the shelf, you just simply grab it, and head out over to the checkout station." I explain as I grab some car wax, "The new tablet makes checking out easy and quick, all you have to do is find your product, select one, and then hit checkout."

But what if you can't drive to Duluth and drop your hazardous waste here? Well they can come to you!

Ringhofer told me, "The household hazardous waste regional truck is used to collect household hazardous waste from small businesses, or very small quantity generators and households around the North East regions."

The Household Hazardous Waste program recycled over 24–thousand gallons of hazardous material last year, which is more than in the past 3–years.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch