Here’s what happened yesterday when someone tossed a small container of household hazardous waste into their recycling bin:
42 recycling facility staffers had to be evacuated from the recycling facility
25 staffers experienced symptoms including watery eyes, vomiting, and trouble breathing
13 staffers were taken to the UVM Medical Center
6 different local and state emergency response teams were involved in managing the incident
The entire facility was shut down for the rest of the day, requiring haulers to find alternative ways of handling the recyclables they had collected that day.
Fortunately, no staffers were seriously injured, and all were able to return to work the next day and the facility is back up and running.
When you’re deciding whether to toss that can of pesticide or other hazardous container into your recycling bin, stop a moment, and think about the people who sort your recyclables at our recycling facility — and then do the right thing with that container:
If it’s household hazardous waste:
Completely empty containers may be thrown in your trash.
If there are leftovers in the container, they must be brought to CSWD’s Environmental Depot (1011 Airport Parkway, South Burlington; Wed-Fri 8-2; Sat 8-3:30). Household hazardous waste includes cleaners, automotive fluids, etc. Visit our household hazardous waste page for a full list.
If it’s hazardous waste from a business:
Most importantly, if you have any questions about how dispose of anything — hazardous or non-hazardous — please don’t guess! Help keep our staff safe and give us a call at (802) 872-8111, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or search the A-to-Z list on our website here.