Sometimes it's not as simple as just tossing it in the trash can. Certain waste items are considered hazardous and should not be thrown away. With the environment in mind, it is important to consider possible hazardous waste situations as you plan your garbage removal and recycling in Oklahoma City. The city provides hazardous waste services, and here are some frequently asked questions on how to dispose of these harmful and/or dangerous materials.
What materials are considered to be "hazardous waste"?
We're talking about any liquid or item that can be harmful to environment or dangerous to people. Therefore, the city does not want them in waste facilities. Instead, these hazardous materials need to be disposed and recycled in a safe way. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) breaks hazardous waste down by categories, but common household items include batteries, pesticides, paint, light bulbs and corrosive cleaners.
What should I do with these hazardous materials?
Well, first, the EPA recommends reducing use of these types of items. Often, there are safer alternatives to explore. That's not always possible, of course, so just make sure to dispose of hazardous material in a responsible way. Some auto shops may recycle things such as motor oil, antifreeze and brake fluid while home improvement stores might accept pesticides, paint and cleaners.
OKC residents can also take advantage of the Stormwater Quality division's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 1621 S. Portland, just south of SW 15th.
The facility is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 — 11:30 a.m. In addition to all of the italicized items listed above, the city accepts:
- Computer Equipment
- Swimming Pool Chemicals
- Furniture Polish
- Paint Thinner
It's very important to leave chemicals in their original packages. Don't mix them together, perhaps by pouring chemicals into a single container.
What is the cost for the service?
Hazardous material disposal is free for Oklahoma City residents. Simply bring your water bill as proof of residency. In addition, residents of Bethany, Edmond, El Reno, Moore, Shawnee, Tinker Air Force Base, The Village, Warr Acres and Yukon can recycle waste at the facility, but according to city officials, they "may be charged for the service through their municipality."
Is there anything the facility can't take?
Yes. The facility is designed for residential hazardous waste, so commercial entities cannot recycle their hazardous waste there. It is not a place for radioactive materials, nor can they accept refrigerant or medical waste. For tires, contact one of the state's tire recycling facilities or look for a local tire collection event.