March 18, 2019 11:39am

ello Cleveland. Goodbye winter. We are in the low single digits … not in temps … but in days away from the official start of spring! Many Clevelanders welcome this time of year with some version of spring cleaning. Perhaps you call it a pitch party. Once you reach the garage and basement, you’ll likely find hazardous materials you no longer need. Examples might be pesticides, weed killer, antifreeze, turpentine, paint thinner, or caustic household cleaners. What should you do with them?

If they are still useable, and you can use them, then use them. If you no longer need them but can give them to someone who will use them, then donate them. Your last option should be disposal. Why? Garbage isn’t just garbage anymore. Household hazardous waste (HHW) is not to be placed in your weekly curbside trash containers for two main reasons. First, HHW is hazardous. It poses a serious risk to sanitation workers as well as possible damage to collection vehicles. Second, it pollutes landfills and water sources.

HHW is a special waste collection. The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District partners with 59 communities in the County to provide expertise and programs to manage waste, including the proper disposal of HHW. While the District is not open to the general public, residents of Cuyahoga County have access to it through their own community’s service department. Each community schedules its own collection events for the disposal of HHW by its residents only. Afterward, the community’s service department delivers items collected directly to the District facility for proper disposal.

The most efficient way to determine what materials are HHW and how to properly dispose of them is to check out the website for Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, which is It is informative, easy to navigate, and color-coded. The color code that applies to HHW is red. There is a pull-down menu for each of the 59 partner communities, which provides details on what and when your specific locality offers HHW collection events. If you need help or have additional questions, contact your individual community’s service department directly. (To find your community, click the arrow in the  lime green bar located in the upper right corner of the above referenced website marked “RECYCLING IN YOUR COMMUNITY”. Then either type in your zip code or scroll through the 59 partner communities and click on your community.)

Keep in mind the alternative to proper disposal of HHW is potential harm to life and property, land and water pollution, as well as litter. One of Cleveland’s greatest assets is Lake Erie, a coveted fresh water source. We can all help keep Lake Erie water clean and useable by following waste disposal instructions provided on Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s website.

Choose Richey-Barrett Insurance, a Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent, for your homeowner’s insurance. We hope you find our weekly blogs informative and useful.

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