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A bottle of ethyl ether, a shock sensitive chemical, next to a photo of a bomb-defusing robot
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That's not lit – Explosives and safety at our collection sites

Sometimes, customers will bring in plainly dangerous wastes like lab-grade chemicals to our collection sites. What’s the big deal? Lab chemicals can cause explosions. We spoke with Nick Saelee, Environmental Field Supervisor at the North Seattle Haz Waste Facility, about what happens when explosive lab-grade chemicals are brought to a collection site. “We work with local fire, police, and sheriff departments and bomb unit technicians to neutralize the chemical. After that, the product is sent for proper disposal,” Nick said. 
 

News

That's not lit – Explosives and safety at our collection sites

December 01, 2020

Sometimes, customers will bring in plainly dangerous wastes like lab-grade chemicals to our collection sites. What’s the big deal? Lab chemicals can cause explosions. We spoke with Nick Saelee, Environmental Field Supervisor at the North Seattle Haz Waste Facility, about what happens when explosive lab-grade chemicals are brought to a collection site. “We work with local fire, police, and sheriff departments and bomb unit technicians to neutralize the chemical. After that, the product is sent for proper disposal,” Nick said. 
 

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Skip the Big Mac – Some fast food wrappers contain toxic chemicals

November 30, 2020

Toxic chemicals may be coating wrappers and containers used at popular fast-food restaurants according to a recent report released by environmental advocacy groups Toxic-Free Future and Mind the Store. The report included concerning test results that showed food wrappers testing positive for fluorine, which indicates the presence of PFAS. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, refers to a class of chemicals that are used widely in homes and businesses to make items resistant to water or fire. These chemicals never break down in the environment. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, reproductive and immune system harm, and other diseases.

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Sea Mar teaches safer cleaning practices to Spanish-speaking community

November 03, 2020

Sea Mar Community Health Centers (Sea Mar) was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for their work to reduce hazardous exposures among the Latino community in South King County. Sea Mar provides quality, comprehensive health, human, housing, educational and cultural services to communities throughout Washington. The Haz Waste Program and Sea Mar partner to provide education and outreach services to encourage the Spanish-speaking community to choose safer cleaning products and practices. 

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Ojo con el cloro – Raising awareness about using bleach safely

November 02, 2020

This November, a Spanish-language campaign, “Ojo con el cloro” (be careful with bleach), will launch to raise awareness about using bleach safely. It features a “super mom” who is on a mission to fight germs in her home. She offers viewers some simple advice – like diluting bleach with water – to make using bleach safer. The campaign will be broadcast on television, social media, and radio channels serving the Latino community and through community partners like St. Vincent de Paul. 

News

Safe medicine disposal in King County

September 28, 2020

In 2013, the King County Board of Health passed a Rule and Regulation to create permanent drug-take back programming for King County residents. Since that time, King County departments and partners developed a successful “Don’t Hang on to Meds” campaign, which featured real-world stories on how secure medicine storage and disposal saves lives by preventing inappropriate access to medicines in the home. Secure medicine return also prevents medicine from harming our land, water, and animals.

News

Preventing childhood lead exposure

September 25, 2020

While lead is a naturally occurring metal, exposure to lead is a serious health risk to children who are under the age of six. The Hazardous Waste Management Program is joining organizations and groups nation-wide to bring attention to the dangers of lead exposure and poisoning during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 25-31.

News

Safer Choice – Eliminate the guesswork when picking earth-friendly products

September 24, 2020

Many of us are feeling a heightened awareness of the surfaces we touch and how to clean them. Choosing a product can be confusing. You can take the guesswork out by opting for cleaning products that have a Safer Choice label. Safer Choice is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) product certification and labeling program. This September, the EPA recognized the Haz Waste Program as a Safer Choice Partner of the Year.

News

City of Bellevue raises awareness about safer cleaning in a pandemic

September 22, 2020

The City of Bellevue is among local King County cities finding creative ways to adapt their Hazardous Waste Management Program grant-funded educational activities to the pandemic. At an early September event, city staff came together with service organization Hopelink and the Bellevue School District for a drive-through event to provide environmental conservation kits.  

News

Paint recycling program to start in 2021

August 28, 2020

Recycling unwanted paint will soon get easier for residents and businesses in King County. This is thanks to a new law that creates an industry funded and run paint program that will be implemented in 2021 across Washington State. 

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