The Osceola-Lake and Mecosta Conservation Districts will be holding their Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collections on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be three collection sites for residents to drop off HHW. The Lake County collection will be at the Wenger Pavilion in downtown Baldwin (behind Jones Ice Cream Parlor). The Mecosta County collection will be at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds, 540 West Ave., Big Rapids. The Osceola County collection site will be at the Road Commission North Facility, 13353 20 Mile Road, Tustin.

Residents can use whichever collection site is most convenient, regardless of where they live. The best part, these collections are free of charge. Donations are gladly accepted to keep this program sustainable for the future.

Household Hazardous Waste

Help us protect Michigan’s natural resources by safely disposing of Household Hazardous Waste. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) are materials that, if disposed of incorrectly, can cause environmental damage by contaminating ground and surface waters, and threaten human health and wildlife.

Disposing of these products in storm drains allows these materials to enter surface waters untreated. Pouring on the ground leads to potential groundwater (drinking water) contamination. These wastes should not be thrown in the trash. Liquid wastes are prohibited in Michigan landfills.

The dangers of such disposal methods may not be immediately obvious, but certain types of household hazardous waste have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

Please use a product completely, give the remainder to neighbors, or take it to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites. Empty containers can be disposed of in trash.

Please drop off hazardous waste at collection sites only during scheduled hours. We do not have any means of disposal at any other time. The Conservation Districts utilize Drug and Laboratory Disposal (DLD) for collecting and processing waste. DLD held their first household hazardous waste (HHW) collection in 1985 and have conducted over 1,000 collection events. The districts rely on DLD to process waste streams in a safe, legal, and environmentally correct manner.

Acceptable Materials

Household Hazardous Waste can often be identified through signal words on the packaging including: toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive, poison, danger, warning, caution, and biohazard. Collection sites readily accept the following materials:

Automotive products and fuels: antifreeze, brake fluid, car wax, contaminated oil, diesel fuel, fuel oil (No Tanks), gasoline, kerosene, motor oil (containers must be 5 gallons or less in size), oil/gas mixtures, and transmission fluid.

Paint products: artist paints, deck stain, preservatives, epoxies, glue/adhesive, lead based paint, oil-based paint, paint strippers, thinners and solvents, turpentine, and varnish or sealers.

Yard and garden products: insect repellents and foggers, pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, mouse/rat poison, and herbicides.

Cleaners: cleaning solvents, dry cleaning solutions, floor/furniture polish, muriatic acid, rust removers, naval jelly, oven cleaners, silver polish, and metal polish.

Miscellaneous: fluorescent light bulbs, lighter fluids, mercury (elemental), moth balls, nail polish remover, pool chemicals, thermometers, and unused medications.

Unacceptable Materials

Items that will not be accepted at collection sites include: latex paint, tires and electronics, automotive batteries, ammunition or explosives, radioactive materials, cell phones, construction waste, appliances or furniture, and rechargeable batteries. Also, alkaline batteries are no longer accepted because they are not considered hazardous material and can be properly disposed of in the trash. Please ask staff or check out the HHW brochure on the Mecosta and Osceola-Lake Conservation District website to find alternative collection sites for these items.

Special Thank You

The Household Hazardous Waste Program is in its 19th year. The Districts would like to thank all our partners for their continued support of the program. The Townships, Villages, Cities, Counties and Community Foundations are what make this program possible. The volunteers that dedicate their time are second to none. Finally, a special thanks to the residents that support this program and understand the need to protect the natural resources of the area. In 2020, 59,111 pounds of HHW were collected in the three counties, from 631 households. Thank you to everyone that makes these collections possible.

Mark Your Calendars

Please mark your calendars, the Osceola-Lake Conservation Districts Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, from 9 a.m. to noon. If you have any questions, contact the Osceola-Lake Conservation District at (231)-465-8012 or email mark.sweppenheiser@macd.org. Mecosta County residents should contact District Administrator Brook Baumann at 231-796-0909 ext. 3 or email brook.baumann@macd.org.

Mark Sweppenheiser is the District Manager for Osceola-Lake Conservation District. For more information, contact him at 231.465.8012, mark.sweppenheiser@macd.org, or stop by the Osceola-Lake Conservation District Office at 138 W. Upton, Suite 2, Reed City.