Changes coming to county’s Household Hazardous Waste Program

Posted 3/17/21

PITTSBORO — Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling is making several changes to its Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program. The HHW program is for residents to properly dispose of hazardous …

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Changes coming to county’s Household Hazardous Waste Program

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Posted

PITTSBORO — Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling is making several changes to its Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program. The HHW program is for residents to properly dispose of hazardous waste that is generated at home. HHW events take place from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on the third Saturday each month from March through November.

Latex Paint

Beginning this month, residents will only be allowed to bring 20 gallons of latex paint cans to each HHW event. Rather than bringing latex paint to HHW events, residents are encouraged to dry out the latex paint and throw it in the trash.

“Approximately 60% of the material brought to HHW events is liquid latex paint,” said Kevin Lindley, the county’s environmental quality director. “It is the most costly item we collect in total. Yet, latex paint is only hazardous when in a liquid form. Latex paint can easily be dried out and thrown away with your regular trash. This new paint limit will help Solid Waste & Recycling save our budget to handle more hazardous wastes.”

To dry latex paint, take off the lid and let it sit outside in a covered area, so it is not exposed to rain. Or add kitty litter, sand or sawdust to the paint can and mix it up. The paint does not have to be completely solidified but should be like a paste. As long as the latex paint can no longer run out of the can, it can be thrown away with your regular trash. As an alternative, instead of drying it out, simply paint something, then throw that item away once the paint is dry.

Residents can bring 20 gallons of latex paint cans per HHW event. A one-gallon paint can that has half a gallon in it will count as one gallon. Residents are encouraged to combine partial cans of paint as long as they are all latex paint. The new paint limit only applies to latex paint. Any other type of paint (oil-based, spray, etc.) cannot be hardened, so residents should bring it to an HHW event, and there is no limit.

The first HHW event of 2021 will be Saturday, March 20. For future dates and to learn more about the Household Hazardous Waste program visit http://www.chathamcountync.gov/hhw.

Electronics

Changes were made to the Electronics Recycling program in August 2020 and as a result electronics are no longer accepted at HHW events. For residents with a current decal, electronics are accepted at all 12 collection centers. Three centers (Bonlee, Cole Park, and Pittsboro) accept electronics of any size and weight. The remaining nine centers can only accept electronics that are less than 50 pounds and computers/televisions that are less than 25 inches across.

For residents who do not have a decal to use the Collection Centers, they can bring their electronics to the main facility. There is no size limit on electronics at the main facility, but there may be a charge for residents without a decal. There is a $5 charge per television, monitor, desktop computer, laptop computer, printer, copier, and fax machine. There is no charge for smaller electronics accepted in the Electronics Recycling program.

Learn more about the Electronics Recycling program at http://www.chathamcountync.gov/electronics.

Residents who have questions may contact the Solid Waste & Recycling main office from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 919-542-5516 or at recycle@chathamcountync.gov.

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