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What Happens to All The “Yuck” After You Drop It Off?

Household hazardous waste collection October 11th & 12th at State Fair Park.

By - Oct 9th, 2019 01:33 pm
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Household Hazardous Waste Collection. Photo courtesy of MMSD.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection. Photo courtesy of MMSD.

Nail polish, pool chemicals, mercury thermostats, and pepper spray, just a few on a long list of household chemicals that are toxic to our environment if not disposed of properly. Luckily, these products can be safely disposed of this weekend at State Fair Park and three other locations.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), with the help of Veolia North America, have collected over 22 million pounds of nasty household chemicals since 1997 and they want more. Do not pour these materials down the drain, in your backyard, or in the storm drains in the street.

This program’s motto? If it doesn’t bring joy, just drop it off.

Milwaukee county residents can do just that at State Fair Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 11th, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 12th. Help keep our rivers, lakes and the environment safe by dropping off unused household hazardous waste products.

Common household items accepted include:

  • Garage and Workshop: antifreeze, gasoline, lighter fluid, paint thinner, road flares, shellac and more
  • Home and Garden: fertilizer, pesticides, furniture polish, insect spray, mothballs, rat poison and more
  • Kitchen and Bathroom: cleaners, disinfectants, hair remover, nail polish, and more

All you need to do is load up your car and head for gate 1 off Greenfield Ave. at State Fair Park. Follow the signs and Veolia will do the rest. You don’t even have to get out of your car to unload.

“MMSD and the Milwaukee community are exceptional leaders in ensuring the safe and compliant management and disposal of this waste by hosting and attending these events over the years,” says Veolia Midwest General Manager Joe Baumann. “We’re proud to be able to support them in this effort.”

Veolia is a worldwide company with their headquarters in Paris, France and is present on five continents with more than 171,000 employees. Despite the large company size, Veolia is able to make a great impact in cities and neighborhoods across North America with greater Milwaukee being no exception. As experts in water, waste and energy management, the collaboration between Veolia and MMSD has been endlessly valuable.

“When you pull up to one of these collections, you’ll see a number of people doing a number of things and they do them very well. That’s all Veolia,” says MMSD’s Public Information Manager Bill Graffin.

The collection workers will unload your car, collect your items, and segregate them. They handle all products properly to avoid any incidents. Some materials can cause fires if they get wet or if they spill, so the segregation process at the collections needs to be done thoroughly and safely. Then, they’ll do their best to recycle or reuse your materials.

“We can recycle or reuse 60-70% of the materials brought in,” says Baumann. “For materials that can’t be recycled or reused in the conventional sense, we work to find alternative options. For example, we are able to bulk up the paint we collect, fill a tanker truck with the liquid and beneficially reuse it as a replacement fuel in place of coal at a cement kiln.”

MMSD and Veolia have created a partnership that’s become a leader in environmental safety and sustainability for the Midwest and beyond.

“Veolia does a great job running this program for MMSD,” continues Graffin. “You don’t pay a penny to visit a collection site. This is a valuable public service that costs Milwaukee County households about $4 a year.”

MMSD also offers a small, free store at the Franklin and Menomonee Falls locations where Milwaukee County residents can pick up paints, stains, and other products that are still in great condition for free.

Get the yuck out of your house easily and for free. Get rid of household chemicals this Friday the 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or Saturday the 12th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St. in West Allis. All participants must have a valid driver’s license. For more information including what to bring, addresses of permanent drop-off locations and more, visit their website.

And if you can’t make this collection, there are permanent drop-off locations open all year long.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

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