Archive for April, 2015

Residents Can Now Recycle Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics at the Landfill

The Prince William County Landfill’s new Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Facility is perhaps one of the most advanced of its kind in the state.

During a recent ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the facility, Tom Faha, who heads the Northern Regional Office of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said the facility will allow Prince William County residents to easily recycle electronics and hazardous, which is a rare commodity. “You’re not going to see many like this as you travel around.”

Faha went on to say that the new operation goes well beyond meeting regulatory minimum requirements set by the state. “This facility is going to be successful. It is on the vanguard of what I believe will be the norm and will no doubt improve water quality. This facility really is terrific. I’m very, very excited about it. Prince William County, just from my observation, is clearly distinguishing itself as a leader.”

The 6,500-square-foot, $2.5- million building is set to handle household hazardous waste, such as paint thinner, paint, battery acid, cleaning fluids, driveway sealers, fertilizers, pesticides, propane tanks, rodent controls, yard care products, swimming pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, herbicides and pesticides, among many other hazardous waste products.

Scott MacDonald, the Solid Waste Division Recycling Program Manager, said anything with a cord or a circuit board — including televisions, computers, monitors, keyboards and cell phones — can also be recycled at the facility. “The Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Facility is important to the county because it’s a proper facility to handle these materials, which could cause harm to human health, animals or the environment.”

Prince William Supervisor Marty Nohe told the crowd of about 60, who showed up for the ribbon cutting, that the facility offered Prince William County residents more opportunity to recycle. “We make it easy for citizens to do the right thing. The products that get brought here are products that don’t end up getting spilled on the road someplace creating a safety hazard that draws resources from our fire and rescue department.”

Nohe said most jurisdictions across the state don’t offer their residents nearly as many opportunities to recycle household hazardous waste and electronics. The facility at the Prince William County Landfill will take items between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “This facility is a really important addition to Prince William County’s solid waste program because it’s going to do so much to make life easier for the residents who take advantage of our recycling programs. Most jurisdictions provide electronic or hazardous waste recycling maybe twice a year. In Prince William County, we strive to provide it twice a week, giving citizens the opportunity to get those dangerous items out of their homes, to get junk out of their garage and do so in an environmentally responsible manner, and one that’s also convenient for the citizens.”

Household hazardous waste and electronics will be stored and processed when the facility isn’t open for drop offs.

Tom Smith, the Prince William County Solid Waste Division Chief, said the facility — with a number of safety features including catch basins for spills, training areas, a ventilation system, an emergency eye wash and shower station, and a 2,500-gallon-per-minute sprinkler system to extinguish fires — was built with safety in mind. “We wanted a safe and efficient place for our citizens, our staff and our contractors to process household hazardous waste and electronics.”

Smith said building the facility, which is one facet of the county’s solid waste program, took a lot of work, but he thought the time spent was worth the effort. “This facility will help the county, I think, set the standard for how to manage and process electronics, in particular, as well as your household hazardous waste such as paints and fertilizer etcetera that you use in your home every day.”

For more recycling information, visit pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling.