Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Problems . People commonly dump their household product down the drain. Wastewater treatment plants, community and private septic systems all use biological processes to breakdown sewage. If you live in Tarrant County, your household sewage is piped to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Household chemicals disposed of down the drain can disrupt the treatment plant’s process for breaking down sewage. The potential outcome is untreated sewage entering the Trinity River. Again, these systems may not be able to completely breakdown many household hazardous wastes.
The result is some chemicals and untreated sewage may pass through the system and enter local surface waters or seep into the ground water. Most other residents in the County are on community or individual septic systems. Household chemicals can destroy the bacteria that make a septic system work. If the septic system becomes damaged, then household chemicals and untreated sewage can seep into the soil and contaminate the ground water. This is the same ground water used for drinking. These chemicals may also damage your septic system, requiring costly repairs.
Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste—Why the Concern?
Most homes in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex have cupboards and garages that contain some type of household chemical product—drain cleaners, spot removers, motor oil, furniture polish, oven cleaners, weed killer, and harmful bleach compounds, just to name a few. In an effort to make our lives easier, we turn to these products when it comes time to do our daily chores. Unfortunately, when these products are not used up or disposed of properly, they pose a serious threat to the health of our families and the environment. Many of these household products contain the same chemicals that are strictly regulated as industrial waste. While each individual home may have only small quantities of these household products, collectively, the amount of waste adds up quickly.
What do you do with an old can half-full of paint? How do you dispose of household cleaning solutions that, for whatever reason, you have never used up? When the expiration date has passed on that container of weed killer, how do you dispose of it?
If your answer is “pour it down the drain”, or “throw it in the trash”, then you could be contaminating the drinking water of your family, friends and neighbors.
Sometimes, these wastes enter the environment directly by being poured down storm drains and street gutters simply because people don’t think of the consequences. All of these improper disposal methods can lead to contamination of ground water and surface water. The water we all depend on for drinking, bathing and recreational use.
Disposal Problems: In the Trash
In Tarrant County, household and commercial garbage is taken to area landfills. If household hazardous wastes have been disposed of in the trash, these products can seep into ground water and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Disposal Problems: On the Ground
A major portion of Tarrant County’s population relies upon ground water as their sole drinking water source. When household chemicals are dumped on the ground, some of them can seep through the soil and contaminate the ground water, polluting drinking water wells.
Disposal Problems: In Storm Sewers
Storm sewers carry rainwater from our streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways directly to our streams and rivers. The water that travels through the storm sewers is not treated. Dumping household chemicals into a storm sewer is like dumping them directly into the Trinity River.
If you are a resident of unincorporated Tarrant County and would like to properly dispose of your household hazardous chemicals or waste, please contact Mr. Robert Berndt at 817-884-2634 or by E-mail at (firstname.lastname@example.org
). Mr. Berndt will collect some basic information from the resident to complete a Voucher Information Sheet (VIS). After the VIS material is confirmed, a Tarrant County Environmental Collection Center Program Voucher will be mailed to the resident or the resident may pickup the voucher at the Transportation Services Department. The resident can now take household hazardous chemicals or waste to the ECC for proper disposal. AN UNINCORPORATED TARRANT COUNTY RESIDENT MUST HAVE A VOUCHER BEFORE GOING TO THE ECC.