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Tall poison hemlock weeds with a King County SUV in the background
News

Nix noxious weeds with natural yard care

There’s a pep in our step these days because it’s officially springtime. With increasing sunshine and warmth, you might be looking at your yard with visions of a lush garden or lawn. Don’t let noxious weeds put a damper on your goals. Before you turn to chemical products, try safer alternatives that keep people and the environment safe from hazardous exposure.

News

Nix noxious weeds with natural yard care

March 31, 2021

There’s a pep in our step these days because it’s officially springtime. With increasing sunshine and warmth, you might be looking at your yard with visions of a lush garden or lawn. Don’t let noxious weeds put a damper on your goals. Before you turn to chemical products, try safer alternatives that keep people and the environment safe from hazardous exposure.

News

County and state work towards ban of toxic chemicals in food packaging

March 31, 2021

In recent months, several companies announced plans to eliminate PFAS (also known as forever chemicals) from their food packaging. State and local governments are also looking at this issue. Washington has enacted a bill that will phase-out PFAS in food packaging as soon as safer alternatives are available.

News

What the Gorilla Glue incident tells us about black hair products and reading labels

March 02, 2021

A woman’s TikTok videos went viral after she applied Gorilla Glue, a heavy-duty adhesive, to her hair and couldn’t get it out after months of trying. People had a good laugh thinking about using glue in place of hairspray. But, even if you just use regular gel to make sure your hair is laid, it’s still a good reminder for all to double-check what’s in your bathroom cabinets. Even better, read the label before you buy. 

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Home Collection Program for seniors and people with disabilities resumes March 10

March 01, 2021

King County seniors (65 years or older) and residents with disabilities who don’t have a vehicle or cannot access a collection site can call to schedule a free at-home pickup of hazardous waste. The pickup will follow strict Public Health guidelines from Seattle & King County to protect our workers and customers. Please visit our home collection page for more details including COVID-19 safety protocols.

News

Know before you buy – not all pesticides are registered as safe and effective

March 01, 2021

In January, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Amazon to stop selling illegal pesticides on its website. Between 2013 and 2018, the EPA claimed that Amazon had over 4,000 products that violated these rules. The illegal pesticide problem has decreased in recent years, but it has not disappeared. Amazon removed the illegal products from its site, but the EPA is warning shoppers that other online retailers are still selling them.  

News

Auburn Wastemobile will be closed February 13-14

February 11, 2021

The Auburn Wastemobile will be closed this weekend, February 13-14, due to forecasted winter weather including accumulating snow and icy conditions. Winter weather can make traveling to the Wastemobile dangerous for customers and staff. 

News

Haz waste cleanup prolongs rebuilding efforts after wildfires

February 04, 2021

Common hazardous products stored in homes, garages, and storage sheds—like oil-based paint, motor oil, and chemical cleaners can be left behind after a fire. Since these hazardous wastes can pose significant risk to human and environmental health, especially when not properly contained due to fire damage, they must be cleaned up before efforts to rebuild can begin.

News

Find out when the Wastemobile will be near you in 2021

February 03, 2021

The Wastemobile, King County’s traveling household hazardous waste drop-off service, kicks off its 2021 season in Bothell, WA. Between February and October, the Wastemobile will visit 14 rural and suburban cities in King County. Residents and small businesses can safely drop off their household hazardous waste such as as oil-based paint, batteries, antifreeze, pesticides to the Wastemobile at no cost. 

News

EPA finds PERC poses unreasonable health risks

February 02, 2021

In December, the EPA released a risk evaluation report that opens the door for national regulations on perchloroethylene, a common dry cleaning chemical. Although there are alternatives to PERC that are safer, PERC is still the most used dry cleaning solvent in the United States and worldwide. The Haz Waste Program has worked to limit PERC use for over 25 years. Our research on the local industry was heavily cited in the EPA’s risk evaluation for PERC.  

News

The Environmental Justice Movement is rooted in Black history

February 01, 2021

The Environmental Justice Movement would not be what it is today without the Black community who shaped it. In 1987, a Black-led group, the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, released its groundbreaking study “Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States.” The report is among the first to find race and ethnicity to be the most prominent variable in predicting both where hazardous waste collection facilities and industries producing large amount of hazardous waste are located in the United States.

News

How to dispose of old electronics

January 06, 2021

Did you finally replace your old cellphone this holiday season? Don’t let it, or any of your other old electronics, collect dust in the closet when there are lots of quick and easy ways to reuse, recycle, or dispose of them. Old electronics should not go in the trash, but you have some options for safely getting rid of them.

News

Salmon death in local urban streams linked to tires

January 05, 2021

Every fall, coho salmon journey from the ocean back to Pacific Northwest urban streams and creeks to reproduce and die shortly after. But after heavy rain, researchers noticed more than half, and sometimes all, of the coho in a stream would suddenly die before they could spawn. These mysterious deaths stumped biologists and toxicologists for decades. A team led by researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University say they have finally found the answer—a very poisonous chemical related to a preservative used in car tires. 

News

Transporting hazardous waste should not be risky business

January 03, 2021

Safe disposal of hazardous waste is one of the best things you can do for human health and the environment. However, there can be some serious risks if you don’t take precautions when transporting hazardous waste to a collection site. Last November, a pickup truck carrying pails of chlorine caught fire and caused a hazmat response in Snohomish County. It’s a good reminder about the importance of handling hazardous waste with care. 

News

Realistic resolutions for 2021

January 01, 2021

Goodbye 2020! With a new year here, some might be welcoming a season of self-growth. Others may be too exhausted to even entertain the idea of resolutions. At the Haz Waste Program, we’re somewhere in the middle of the “new year, new me” spectrum. So, we came up with some realistic resolutions to share with you. 

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. 
 

News

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.

News

Prepare your home or business for floods

November 05, 2020

During November through February, periods of heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt can cause flooding and high water in King County. Most business and homes have hazardous waste. Hazardous waste can harm people and contaminate our environment if washed away by flood waters. Learn how you can prepare for flooding.

News

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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