Batteries, paints and varnishes and aerosols are among the items that will be accepted at a free ‘Hazardous Waste Drop Off Day’ at Mullingar Recycling Centre on Saturday, May 19.
Westmeath County Council is encouraging householders across the county to avail of the day, which runs from 9am to 5pm (last car entry 4.40pm) on this day only.
Many everyday household items, fluids and containers are considered hazardous to both the environment and human health if not stored and disposed of correctly.
Joanne Rourke, Eastern-Midlands Regional Waste Management Office, explained that even common household items such as cooking oil and detergents can be considered hazardous if not treated with proper care and consideration.
“Waste is classified as being hazardous when it displays one or more of the hazardous properties listed in the Waste Management Act. These relevant properties are explosive, oxidizing, flammable, irritant, harmful, toxic, or carcinogenic,” Joanne explained.
“People are surprised to learn how many common items fit this criteria, for example mixed fuels, batteries – car and household, medicinal waste, pesticides, herbicides, paints and varnishes. Household detergents, anti freeze, oil filters, adhesives and aerosols should also be considered as hazardous and treated accordingly.
“The careless disposal of hazardous household waste has the potential to cause physical injury to waste disposal workers and contaminate septic tanks or our wastewater systems if poured down sinks, toilets or drains.”
Leo Buckley, assistant engineer, Environment Department, Westmeath County Council, said: “This is an opportunity for people to rid their homes of such waste safely and for free. Hazardous waste accepted on the day is listed on our website, westmeathcoco.ie.
“It is also an opportunity for us all to consider replacing these items, where possible, with environmentally friendly, natural products.
“Ideas and recipes on how to create household cleaners from common non-hazardous ingredients will be available on the day or by contacting our environment awareness officer Ruth Maxwell on 044 93 32125 or email@example.com.”
The day is funded by the Dept of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and supported by Eastern Midlands Regional Waste Management Office. The event is open only to householders and all items must be in original packaging and labelled.
Mullingar Recycling Centre also accepts certain household hazardous waste Monday-Friday along with other recyclable items for an entrance fee of €3.
Waste electronic and electrical wastes are also accepted in Mullingar Recycling Centre free of charge.