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How to dispose of your household chemicals safely

Posted at 8:44 PM, Mar 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 21:44:24-04

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — March 19-25 is National Poison Prevention Week.

According to the Wisconsin Poison Center, since 2010, more than 425,000 people have contacted the center for mishaps with poisonous items, and unintentional poisoning has been the number one cause of injury-related deaths since 2009 for Americans 25-64 years old.

Household items, like cleaners, oils and paints, can be poisonous if ingested or used incorrectly, and they can become a hazard to the environment if dumped down the drain or disposed improperly.

Mark Walter is the business development manager with Brown County Hazardous Material Recovery, and he said the facility is the solution to avoid improper chemical and material disposal.

"We are built and designed to handle hazardous waste from the public, specifically for Brown County residents, and we’ve grown to serve most of Northeast Wisconsin," Walter said.

The facility, located in Ashwaubenon, opens its doors to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays year round for people to drop off chemicals they no longer use.

Walter said people drop off anything from herbicides to Windex to paint.

“These are mostly poisonous materials or toxic materials of some kind, but they’re bad to have in the environment and can harm plants, animals and humans if they’re in the environment," Walter said. "We want to make sure we’re getting them out of the environment as much as possible and properly disposing of them or we do look at ways to recycle a lot of these things."

He said they also collect and recycle old batteries, light bulbs and electronics.

Walter said they get about 700,000 to 800,000 pounds of material from the public per year, and they are only one of four permanent facilities in the state.

The facility is located at 2561 S Broadway St. and is open year round to the public Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.