Chelan County opens Moderate Risk Waste Facility Opened to the public December 6


Photos Courtesy Department of Ecology

From left, Kimberly Grieves of the Washington State Department of Ecology; Lalla Przespolewski, City of Entiat councilwoman; Brenda Blanchfield, manager of the solid waste program for Chelan County; Mayor Frank Kuntz of Wenatchee; Rep. Keith Goehner; and incoming Mayor Bob Goedde of Chelan.

People will be able to drop off their household hazardous waste – materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, oil-based paints, pool chemicals, and pesticides and fertilizers – at the year-round facility for safe disposal.

“We are very excited to be opening this much-needed facility,” said Brenda Blanchfield, manager of the Solid Waste program of Chelan County Public Works. “In the past, the county has held one-day collection events once a year. A permanent facility gives people more opportunities to dispose of their household hazardous wastes in a safe and responsible way and helps keep these materials out of our groundwater and rivers and lakes.”

The 5,000-square-foot facility was built on county-owned property at 3612 Highway 97A in Wenatchee. It is open to all Chelan County residents three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The facility is free to residents; however, a $10 contribution per trip is appreciated.

The $2.6 million facility is a project of Chelan County and its partners: the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Commerce and the cities of Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan and Entiat.

“We could not have completed this project without the help of our community partners,” said Eric Pierson, director/county engineer of Chelan County Public Works. “The project had reached a standstill in 2017, but our partners stepped up to help finance its completion. This facility is a great example of what a community can accomplish when strong partnerships are formed.”

Household hazardous waste, or HHW, is material that should not be thrown in the garbage but instead be disposed of safely at a Moderate Risk Waste Facility or collection event. HHW is labeled with key words such as caution, flammable, corrosive, warning, poisonous, explosive, danger, toxic or reactive.

HHW includes but is not limited to: automotive products, including used motor oil, antifreeze, gas, brake fluid, waxes, batteries and cleaners; home gardening supplies, including pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides; painting supplies, including oil-based paints and stains, thinners and solvents; kerosene; heating oil; pool and spa chemicals; household cleaners; and fluorescent tubes and bulbs.

Waste collected at the facility will be packed for safe transport and contractor Clean Harbors Environmental of Kent will haul the material away for safe disposal.

Among the facility’s features are a drive-up unloading area for visitors; a reuse area for those materials that are deemed reusable; an office and breakroom area for employees; an emergency wash area; a barrel packing area and lab for material identification; two 200-square-foot storage containers for flammables; and a blast wall for any highly explosive materials that may come in and need temporary storage.

The onsite storm water system also was designed to withstand a 100-year storm event. The system incorporates Low Impact Development design principles that include pervious pavers in the parking areas, an underground storm water chamber and two bio-filtration swells to promote infiltration of onsite-generated storm water.

Secure your HHW safely when transporting

If you are dropping off material at the MRWF, remember these tips for the safe transport of your household hazardous wastes:

                Don’t mix products.

                Keep products in original containers. Label products not in same.

                Secure products so they don’t tip over or leak.

                Containers should be non-leaking and of 5 gallons or less in size.

                Transport similar products upright in cardboard boxes for safety.

                Stay in your vehicle during unloading.

In addition, please remember that the MRWF does not accept latex or water-based paints. Latex paint can be safely disposed of in your residential garbage can if the paint is first hardened with a material such as kitty litter, mulch, sawdust or shredded paper. When the paint is hardened to the consistency of oatmeal, place the can, with its lid off, in your garbage can.

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