OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- State and federal officials have set up two collection sites for this Saturday for the disposal of household hazardous wastes following the recent tornadoes, severe storms and flooding in Oklahoma.
Officials have set up the sites because household chemicals can pose a threat to public safety and to the environment if they are not properly disposed. At each of the sites, a chemical waste disposal company will be ready to accept the chemicals free of charge and dispose of them appropriately.
Officials from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working together on the hazardous waste disposal project.
Both sites will be open Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site locations are Choctaw Creek Park at 2001 Harper Rd. in Choctaw, and the Bridge Creek School bus barn on Mustang Road in Bridge Creek.
State and federal officials also said that if residents separate their household chemicals from other debris and place it at their curbside, cleanup contractors will include these items in their collection. Officials also suggest that people should keep their hazardous household materials, appliances, organic materials and household garbage separate from each other.
Potentially damaging household chemicals can be found in most kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, sheds and garages. The chemicals include aerosol cans, kitchen cleaners, automotive products, paints, stains and varnishes, caustic cleaning compounds, fertilizers and pesticides, toilet and sink cleaners and any flammable liquids. The chemicals may have warning labels such as "danger," "poison," "toxic," "hazardous" and "Keep out of reach of children."
State and federal officials also make the following important suggestions for handling the chemicals:
- Wear gloves and use extreme caution when handling the products.
- When possible, keep the products in their original containers.
- Never mix hazardous materials together. Package incompatible products (flammables, corrosives or poisons) in separate storage boxes lined with a plastic bag. Place packing material (crumpled paper or cardboard) between the boxes.
- Pack products upright in a sturdy storage box. If containers are leaking, place them in a leak-proof container with absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust or newspaper.
Anyone with questions should call the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality at 800-522-0206.