If you’ve been tossing cans of paint, containers with used motor oils, filled or partially filled aerosol cans with chemicals and other hazardous substances in your trash can, you are violating the law.
The same goes for batteries, fluorescent light tubes and computer parts.
Fortunately for Ceres residents, Stanislaus County operates a free disposal collection facility nearby that operates on Friday mornings only.
Many households products used regularly every day, such as cleaners, glues, soaps, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, are toxic or hazardous. By putting these into the trash can, you endanger garbage haulers, the environment and our drinking water. You are ultimately liable for these wastes and any harm they cause.
The county operates a drive-thru collection facility at County Center IV, 1710 Morgan Road, just south of Hatch Road and west of Highway 99. Household hazardous waste and electronic waste are collected free of charge to county residents. The collection facility is open Fridays and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, excluding major holidays.
The county site accepts motor oil, pesticides and herbicides, paints and thinners, drain cleaners, pool chemicals, chemical cleaners, fertilizers and batteries. Cooking oils are not considered hazardous waste and are not accepted.
At the same facility, Stanislaus County residents can also dispose of electronic waste, often referred to as E waste free of charge.
Common E-Waste material accepted include scanners, cell phones, alarm clocks, TVs, VCRs, stereos, computers, computer monitors, keyboards, computer mice, printers, fax machines and fluorescent tubes. Refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers are not considered E-Waste.
New electronic waste recycling laws make it a crime to throw away old computers and other electronics. Some components of old electronic equipment can be hazardous to the environment due to lead, mercury, cadmium and a number of other metallic substances. Lead is a toxic substance of particular concern, as lead poisoning can especially be harmful to young children. A typical 17-inch computer monitor contains approximately two pounds of lead while a 27-inch color TV contains up to eight pounds of lead. It is estimated 500 million computers will become obsolete between 1997 and 2007 and will contribute nearly 1.6 billion pounds of lead to the environment if not handled correctly.
E-Waste is one of the fastest growing segments of our nation’s waste stream and now makes up 5 percent of all municipal waste worldwide. According to the International Association of Electronics Recyclers, Americans dispose of two million tons of electronic products a year including 50 million computers and 130 million cell phones. By 2010, the United States will be discarding 400 million electronic units annually.
For a non-profit or business to use the collection service, the non-profit or business must be able to fall under the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Universal Waste Generator (CESQUWG) Regulations, which includes the generation of no more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, 20 fluorescent tubes a month and/or five CRTs per year. Non-profit agencies or businesses that do meet the CESQG regulations need to document all waste brought in on company letterhead.
For up-to-date information on dates the facility is open, please call the Household Hazardous Waste Information Hotline at 525-6789.
Used rechargeable batteries are accepted free of charge at Walgreens at 2101 E. Hatch Road.
Other E-waste collection programs are offered throughout the county, including:
• Stanislaus County Fink Road Sanitary Landfill, 4000 Fink Road Crows Landing - (209)837-4800. Items accepted: computer monitors, computers/CPUs, copiers, laptops, scanners, fax machines, printers, cell phones, PDA’s, pagers, stereos, televisions, VCRs. If you have computer monitors or televisions, you must notify the attendant at the window. Limit is two monitors and two TVs per household. Please call or ask attendant for fee information.
• Bertolotti Transfer Station, Inc., 231 Flamingo Drive, south Modesto, 537-6911;
• Gilton Resource Recovery, 800 S. McClure Road, Modesto, 840-5662;
• Turlock Transfer , 1020 S. Walnut Road, Turlock, 668-6049.