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Pitch in for Earth Day: Bring your Household Hazardous Waste to Free Recycling Event in Scotch Plains, April 14

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Earth Day is coming up soon, and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is offering a simple, easy way for everyone to pitch in and help improve the environment. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other special waste, by bringing these items to the free Household Hazardous Waste recycling event on Saturday April 14, 9:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. at the Union County Vo-Tech Schools campus, 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains.

As a bonus, the company Covanta is partnering with the Freeholder Board to offer $5.00 Home Depot gift cards for residents turning in old mercury thermostats.

“The Household Hazardous Waste event is one of the best ways that anyone in Union County can help make a real difference,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Bring your unwanted household chemicals to the Vo-Tech campus on April 14 for environmentally safe disposal. Everyone can help protect the air we breathe, the water that sustains our life, and the soil that grows our food, by disposing of harmful substances safely.”

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“Covanta is proud to partner with Union County for a ‘Mercury Bounty’ take back event,” said Covanta’s Director of Environmental Science and Community Affairs Kenneth Armellino. “Covanta will be offering $5 Home Depot gift cards to any resident who turns in a mercury-containing thermostat.”

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection event provides Union County residents with a free, environmentally safe way to dispose of outdated or unwanted household chemicals, mercury thermostats, propane tanks, and automobile tires among many other items such as oil-based paint and varnish, antifreeze, aerosol cans, pool chemicals, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, thinners, fire extinguishers, motor oil and oil filters, gasoline, batteries, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), and mercury switches.

“Our Household Hazardous Waste events provide an opportunity for you to improve the safety and healthfulness of your home, too,” said Granados. “The April 14 event is rain-or shine, so no matter what the weather you can start looking through your closets, cupboards and sheds now for items that you wish to dispose of.” 

Residents need only drive to the site with their items for disposal. Once at the site, residents stay in their vehicles while workers unload the items.

Only materials in original or labeled containers will be accepted. No containers larger than five gallons will be accepted. There is a limit of eight automobile tires, without rims, per household.

Please note that latex paint is not accepted. Residents wishing to dispose of latex paint are advised to use it up, donate it or share with a neighbor. If those options are not available, the paint can be dried in the can, and/or mixed with kitty litter or newspaper, then disposed with regular household garbage.

For a complete list of the materials that will be accepted on April 14 as well as all recycling event dates and locations, please visit ucnj.org/recycle.

The household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine, for Union County residents only, not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required. For more information, please call the Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889.

Chairman Granados’s 2018 Moving Union County Forward “Plant a Seed” initiative includes programs that enhance the County’s recycling, conservation and environmental education, such as grants for school and community gardens and a new Earth Day discount for compost bins and rain barrels. Residents interested in purchasing a compost bin or rain barrel at 50% off the retail price can visit Plant a Seed at ucnj.org/union-county-plant-a-seed for more information.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connection.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

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