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Unwanted chemicals – what is the safe way to dispose of them?

A recent incident during which the Kent Fire Department’s Haz-Mat team and the state Department of Ecology safely disposed of a pickup truck load of old laboratory chemicals offers a lesson in proper hazardous waste disposal.

The lab jars turned up at a dumpster in Kent, and a concerned citizen collected them in her truck and took them to the Kent Police Department. This potentially dangerous situation could have been avoided with the safe disposal of unwanted chemicals.

“If you find what appears to be abandoned chemicals, don’t touch them,” recommends Kyle Ohashi, captain with the Kent Fire Department. “Call 911 to report what you found and keep other people and animals away.”

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County offers technical and disposal services to businesses that have hazardous waste. Call the Business Waste Line at (206) 263-8899 or toll-free at 1-800-325-6165, ext. 3-8899.

Businesses that handle or generate small quantities of hazardous materials can start by calling for advice or request technical visits. Visit www.lhwmp.org for more information.

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