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Acts of service: the love language of hazardous waste

A Black hand with red nails holds out three heart-shaped lollipops in front of a yellow background

Let’s get to the heart of it: we all love differently. The 5 love languages – acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and physical touch – describe ways that people receive and give love. 

It’s a little vulnerable to admit, but…our Program’s heart really beats for acts of service. This Valentine’s Day, show us a little love by committing to small acts that promote the health of humans and the environment in our region. Feeling the love? Here’s how you can show it. 

Bring hazardous waste to a collection site or a traveling Wastemobile event.

We would never tell you to contain your love. But we would love for you to contain your hazardous waste safely. And we’re happy to take it off your hands.
Our four hazardous waste collection sites are available for you to bring your hazardous waste for free, convenient disposal year-round.

From February to October, the Haz Waste Program also operates free, traveling Wastemobile events around King County communities. Find out where and when the next Wastemobile event is, what to bring, and what to expect. Then bring your hazardous waste to an event or collection site near you!   

Make and use your own house cleaners.

DIY projects don’t have to be a lot of work. You can save money and a trip to the store by making quick, simple cleaners with ingredients you already have at home. Bust out the baking soda and dive into safer cleaning chemistry that promotes the health of you and your loved ones.

May we suggest six safer cleaning recipes that are less toxic than conventional cleaning products?

Hand-pull weeds in your yard or garden.

Fall in love with the physical feeling of nature. With natural yard care practices like removing weeds by hand and garden pests by non-toxic traps, you reduce the need for toxic herbicides and pesticides, which may harm human health and can seep into local soils and waterways.

“Bee” the way: Chemicals in herbicides and pesticides do not only harm people. Pollinators like bees and butterflies help your garden thrive, but they are especially impacted by these. Protecting pollinators by avoiding herbicide and pesticide use is another great way to love your yard or garden (and our environment). 

Cook a delicious and non-toxic meal.

Meals cooked with love always taste the best. They taste even better when they aren’t going to pose any risk to you or your loved ones’ health. Pay attention to your pots and pans – certain cookware has been known to increase health risks from toxic materials such as lead. Stainless steel cookware tends to be the safest option. Give your dish an extra dash of love by using fresh, organic, locally-grown fruits and vegetables that support community-based farms and promote sustainable food systems in our region. We’re fans of the King County Local Food Finder map when we shop. 

Tape the ends of your old batteries and plan to dispose of them safely. 

On Valentine’s Day, don’t let any battery sparks fly. Batteries contain toxic and potentially fire-causing materials, so safe disposal of batteries is crucial for the safety of both our environment and waste management workers. 

Have dead, non-damaged batteries at home? Gather them up and take a couple of minutes to tape both ends of each terminal (simple Scotch tape will do). To dispose of non-damaged batteries, plan to drop them off at any one of our household hazardous waste facilities or King County Solid Waste Division’s transfer stations. Learn more about safe battery handling and other disposal options on our website. 

Talk to your family and neighbors with children and work to identify potential sources of lead around the house.

Lead is naturally occurring metal, but its relationship with humans can be rather toxic. There is no safe level of exposure to lead, and while lead exposure poses the biggest risk to children, it’s harmful for everyone. 

Take a walk around your house and think about common items that might contain lead. Some items are more commonly known to have lead in them, such as older painted toys or imported cosmetics and cookware. Others may be overlooked – start conversations with your family and neighbors and explore ways to reduce your exposure to lead at home, like regularly washing hands and toys with soap and damp dusting and damp mopping

Some say that love is a practice – these ideas are, too. Start small with these acts of service today and try to incorporate them into your daily routines. 

Maybe you have a different love language. What does hazardous waste disposal look like for you?


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