Columbia County hosts a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event
For the first time in a while, Columbia County residents will have a chance to easily rid their premises of dangerous waste materials.
Columbia County will be hosting a household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Columbia County transfer station, which is located at 1601 Railroad Ave. in St. Helens.
Three similar events were canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. This time around, safety measures will be in place, including a mask requirement.
For safety purposes, the county is asking that all of your household waste be placed in your truck bed, trunk or hatchback of your vehicle. Avoid placing the waste products in the passenger compartment.
The history of this event goes back nearly a decade, according to Kathy Boutin-Pasterz, solid waste program coordinator for Columbia County.
"We hold these events four times a year at the transfer station," Boutin-Pasterz said. "We also hold three events throughout the county. One in Rainier, one in Vernonia, one in Clatskanie."
The idea is to get rid of poisonous products you might have around or in your home.
"This is to get rid of stuff that we don't want in your everyday trash bin — the pesticides, the herbicides, anything that has poisonous written on it," she said. "All of those chemicals, we will take during this event."
Among the items you can bring, free of charge, to the transfer station: ammunition, fireworks and flares, gas, diesel, fuels, antifreeze, motor oil, lawn and garden chemicals, pool and spa chemicals, fluorescent tubes, solvents and thinners and automotive batteries.
The county is asking that you do not bring unwanted or unused medicine or pharmaceuticals, asbestos, garbage or trash, or liquid in containers larger than 5 gallons.
The household hazardous waste event has proved popular over the years.
"Yes, it is very popular," Boutin-Pasterz said. "It can be 200 to 300 vehicles in one of these events at the transfer station."
Boutin-Pasterz said people like to show up early for these events, so she's encouraging people to show up a little bit later. Cars have been known to start lining up at 7 a.m.
A crew from the transfer station will unload acceptable materials, including paint, motor oil and antifreeze.
"We can get those out of the car first," she said, noting trained technicians will offload dangerous products such as pesticides and herbicides.
The county is reminding people not to place these toxic materials in your passenger seat and to make sure the material is stored in sealed boxes, so they don't tip over.
"We want people to be careful and load it carefully," Boutin-Pasterz said.
After Feb. 27, the next events at the transfer station will be June 12, Aug. 28 and Oct. 23.
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