Jan. 17-23 has been designated as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week 2016 in the state of Iowa and elsewhere across the country.

Hazardous materials are regularly used in our homes and workplaces. According to the Iowa City Fire Department, knowing how to handle and store hazardous products can greatly reduce the risk of accidents, injury and exposure. In addition, proper disposal of these chemicals and fuels not only protects personal safety, but also the health and safety of the environment, according to Iowa City Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jordan.

Keep your family safe

Proper disposal of these items is critical for reducing the risk of poisonings, fires and toxic fumes. Never toss hazardous chemicals into the garbage, storm sewers or waterways. To ensure your family’s safety:

  • Store all household products according to the instructions on the label.
  • Keep chemicals and medications out of children’s reach.
  • Never mix household chemicals together, as they may react, ignite, explode or release toxic fumes.
  • Read the instructions on how to dispose of hazardous materials and chemicals properly.
  • If you’re not sure how to safely store some products, or where to dispose of specific materials, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ website at www.SafeSmartSolutions.org.
  • The phone number for Iowa Poison Control is 1-800-222-1222. Keep it posted close to your home phone and saved in your cell phone. 

Landfill hazardous waste collection

The Iowa City Landfill, 3900 Hebl Avenue, can help dispose of many toxic materials through its Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. There is no charge for this service for residents of Johnson County, Kalona and Riverside, however, appointments must be set in advance by calling 319-356-5185. Hazardous waste from some businesses may also possibly be accommodated, but they, too, should also call first to schedule, and request information on possible fees. More information on hazardous waste disposal is available at www.icgov.org/hazardouswaste. For information on pharmaceutical waste, visit www.icgov.org/pharmaceuticalwaste. Compact fluorescent bulb disposal information can be found at www.icgov.org/cfl.

In addition to the Landfill, the East Side Recycling Center at 2401 Scott Blvd. SE schedules occasional mobile hazardous waste collections at its site. However, because the mobile collection unit is small, the amount a household can drop off is limited to one box during these events. The Recycling Division plans to host a mobile event this spring, although a date has not yet been set.To schedule a community or neighborhood hazardous waste collection event, call 319-887-6160. The cost is $250.

Recycling options

There are many hazardous waste items that you can recycle on your own. For more information on hazardous waste recycling options, visit www.icgov.org/recycling or www.icgov.org/ESRC.

Additional information on hazardous materials safety is available at www.beready.iowa.gov/be_aware/haz_materials.html or from Iowa City Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jordan at 319-887-6160 or jennifer-jordan@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Tuesday, January 12, 2016