Camden County wants your waste

Camden County residents can help keep the environment healthy on Saturday, March 19 by participating in the Special Household Waste Collection drive-through event at the Cherry Hill Public Works Complex, located at 1 Perina Boulevard, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In its 22 years of existence, Camden County’s Special Household Waste Collection Program has collected more than six million pounds of hazardous materials, keeping them from making their way into our county waste stream. But unfortunately, without 100-percent compliance, there will still be inappropriate waste thrown into the regular trash.

“Residents should take a look at the list of items that can be dropped off through the Special Household Waste Collection Program to make sure there isn’t anything that’s currently thrown in with the regular trash,” said Freeholder Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the Division of Environmental Affairs. “If put out on the curb on trash day and not properly handled, it is possible for these items to end up in the water we drink or the air we breathe.”

Some common items that are found in the trash are oil-based paints, stains, and fluorescent bulbs. All contain hazardous materials that should be handled properly through one of our collections. Items that can be dropped off include oil-based paints, solvents, thinners, pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, kerosene, polishes, photographic chemicals, automotive batteries, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, other car products, pool chemicals and cleaning fluids.

“This program provides one of the easiest and most convenient ways for all Camden County residents to contribute when it comes to creating a better environment for all of us,” Freeholder Nash said. “This program is part of an ongoing green initiative spearheaded by Camden County government.”

These collections are held six times a year beginning in March and each event is held in a different location, which optimizes the convenience to residents. The remainder of 2011 Special Household Waste Collection events, which are all held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., include:

April 16, Collingswood Public Works Complex, 713 N. Atlantic Ave.

May 21, Corner of Atco and Raritan avenues, Atco.

June 18, Camden County College’s Blackwood Campus, parking area behind “CIM” Building, Peter Cheeseman Road, Gloucester Township.

Sept. 17, Pennsauken Sanitary Landfill, 9600 River Road.

Oct. 15, Camden County Public Works Complex, 2311 Egg Harbor Road, Lindenwold.

Each year of the program results in more than 400,000 pounds of hazardous materials collected. While the amount disposed of by a single household may seem small, the cumulative effect of 225,000 households countywide disposing of these same small amounts can be significant.

For more information on this event, call the Camden County Division of Environmental Affairs at 858–5241.

A note to residents — To hold costs down and save money for truly hazardous materials, residents should know that latex paint, which is the vast majority of paint used by households today, is in fact not hazardous and should be dried out and placed at the curb with the lids removed for collection on regular trash day.