SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - Unwanted household chemicals and other designated household items -- from old mercury thermostats to automobile tires -- can be recycled at a free event hosted by Union County on August 4, from 9 a.m. -  2 p.m., at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus in Scotch Plains.

In addition, for this event only, both ammunition and fireworks will be accepted for recycling.

Residents simply need to drive to the site with their household special wastes and workers at the site will unload the vehicles. The Union County Police Bomb Squad will also be on hand to collect the unwanted ammunition and fireworks from residents.

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Household hazardous waste accepted at the recycling event includes 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.

Please note that latex, or water-based paints will not be accepted. For those materials, residents are instructed to dry the paint out and discard with their regular garbage.

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.

The August 4 event will also see the continuance of the County’s “Mercury Bounty” take back program through a partnership with Covanta, which will provides a $5 Home Depot gift card to any resident who turns in a mercury-containing thermostat.

The household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine for all Union County residents only, not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required.

For more information, call the Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889. For a complete list of the materials that will be accepted on August 4 as well as all recycling event dates and locations, visit