What Happens to the Waste Collected at the HHW Facility?
There is no single method that can safely handle all the different types of waste collected. The wastes are identified and sorted by treatment or disposal category, and any laboratory analysis or regulatory requirements completed. The program attempts to reuse and recycle as much waste as feasible. Wastes that cannot be recycled locally, are shipped to approved facilities in several states. Some methods used at these facilities are recycling, fuel-blending, chemical treatment and secure chemical land filling.
Reuse and Recycling
- The City's private contractor contracts for antifreeze, used motor oil recycling and lead acid (auto) battery recycling services. The oil is used as an industrial fuel and the batteries are sent to permitted smelting facilities where lead and acid are recovered for reuse.
- Fuel blending - flammable liquid wastes will be blended into fuel for industrial kilns and boilers, thus avoiding the use of new oil, petroleum or natural gas for this purpose.
- Household batteries that can be recycled are recycled through a hazardous waste disposal contractor.
- Elemental mercury from switches and thermostats is recycled.
Incineration - pesticides, herbicides, aerosol cans, waxes and other flammable materials are burned in high temperature incinerators equipped with monitoring instruments and air pollution control devices.
Chemical treatment - acids and bases are neutralized, cyanide detoxified and unstable compounds chemically deactivated. These methods are generally referred to as "chemical treatment."
Licensed landfills - wastes for which no other disposal method is available are land filled at facilities designed and permitted to accept hazardous wastes.