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Ease of Proper Disposal, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

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Published on Jul 15, 2011

Choosing a safe, smart solution to dispose unused and unneeded household hazardous materials is easy—no matter when or why you decide to dispose of them. The safe, smart solution is to take household hazardous waste to your nearest regional collection center.

The first step is to make a list of what you no longer need. Check your kitchen, bathrooms, garage, bedrooms, closets, basement and storage sheds. List the materials, noting the brand name, amount of material and number of containers. While you're making your list, check for leaking containers. Place those you find in a zip lock bag or use an old paint bucket with kitty litter in the bottom to absorb leaking material.

To find location and contact information for your nearest RCC, go to SafeSmartSolutions.org for a full listing. They should also be in your phonebook under the listing for your area's solid waste agency. Call your RCC to make your appointment. If you have questions, just ask. They can provide information about safely handling and transporting household hazardous materials.

Dropping off household hazardous waste at the RCC is easy and usually only takes a few minutes. When you arrive at the RCC you may be instructed to stay in your vehicle. A technician will greet you, check you in for your appointment, and then unload your materials. You'll sign a form for their records. That's all there is to it.

On a side note, many RCCs operate swap shops. Swap shops are redistribution points for gently used or previously purchased, new household hazardous materials that you may take for free. Using materials from a swap shop is a green alternative to purchasing new.

To learn more, visit SafeSmartSolutions.org. When we change our ways, we change our world.

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