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Hazardous waste collection day: Cape to offer free disposal

By Staff | Mar 8, 2018

The City of Cape Coral is hosting a day for residents to dispose of their hazardous waste in March, free of charge.

City spokesperson Connie Barron said the municipality holds the Hazardous Waste Collection Day once a year because certain chemicals are not allowed to be disposed of in regular garbage pick up.

“We work with the Lee County Solid Waste Department to hold one of these annually, so all of our residents can just drop off these items and not have to take them themselves to the landfill,” she said.

The collection will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Public Works Annex on Everest Parkway.

Last year, residents dropped off 40,807 pounds of hazardous waste. Barron said 45 percent of that was recycled.

“There really is no available recycling options for latex paint,” she said of why the recycling percentage was low.

Individuals can dispose of such hazardous waste as drain cleaners, pool chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, liquid paint and thinners, polishes and strippers, fluorescent tubes, electronics, car and boat batteries, auto oil and antifreeze, gas propane tanks, flares and ammunition, and boat flares.

“Chemical waste cannot be placed curbside,” Barron said, which is why the city schedules the annual household chemical waste event.

According to the city there are four characteristics of hazardous waste, which include flammability or ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity.

Examples of flammable and ignitable waste includes lighter fluids; propane cylinders; paint thinner; used motor oil; turpentine polish; adhesives; oil-based paints and certain degreasers.

According to the city waste is considered “corrosive if it is capable of corroding metals or has a very high or low pH.” Some examples include acids and caustics; pool chemicals; strong chemicals; battery acid; bleach and rust removers.

If waste is unstable and explodes, or produces toxic fumes, gases and vapors when mixed with water, or is under heat, or pressure it is considered reactive. Examples includes cyanides or sulfide-bearing wastes; pool chlorine and strong fertilizers.

Toxic waste is harmful, or fatal when ingested or absorbed, or if leaches toxic chemicals into soil, or ground water when disposed on land. Examples include rat poison, weed killers and antifreeze.