SMCG Summer 2003 Recycling Events

St. Mary’s County is sponsoring its annual Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Day events on July 19th and September 20th, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the St. Andrews Landfill. Many common household products contain hazardous substances. These products become HHW once the consumer no longer has any use for them. The average U.S. household generates more than 20 pounds of HHW per year. As much as 100 pounds can accumulate in the home, often remaining there until the residents move or do an extensive clean out.

County residents are encouraged to clean out their barns, basements, sheds, garages, medicine cabinets, etc. and take advantage of the opportunity to properly discard the toxics that have been lurking around their homes. The toxins that will be collected include pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, paint (all kinds), stains and polish, solvents and thinners, caustic cleaners (for toilets, tile masonry, ovens, etc.), pool chemicals, lawn care chemicals, pet care chemicals, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, batteries (all kinds), thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs (all contain mercury), aerosol cans, old gasoline, kerosene, and other fuels (even mixed with water).

Also, the Department of Public Works and Transportation, Solid Waste Program, offers packets of "Waste Paint Hardener” as part of the Household Hazardous Waste Program. Adding Waste Paint Hardener to leftover latex “water-based” paint causes the paint to harden, thus making it possible to dispose of unwanted latex paint at the Convenience Centers or St. Andrew’s Landfill. One packet will harden up to 2/3 of a gallon. Packets are available at the St. Andrew’s Landfill and six (6) Convenience Centers. Waste Paint Hardener is not intended for oil “alkyd” paints. Oil based paint must be brought to the St. Andrews Landfill during Household Hazardous Waste Day Events.

In addition to HHW, St. Mary’s County is sponsoring an E-Cycle/Mercury Thermometer event this summer for the collection of electronic equipment and the exchange of mercury thermometers for digital thermometers. The event is being co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Environmental Service and the St. Mary’s County Government.

The E-Cycle/Mercury Thermometer event will be held at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds on August 16, 2003, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The electronic equipment will be shipped and hauled away to be dismantled and recycled. The following items will be accepted as part of the E-Cycle Program: Computers (CPU’s), Monitors, Keyboards, Mouse (Mice), Printers, Scanners, Computer Speakers, External Disc Drives, Modems, Remotes, Cables, Televisions.

Thermometers, which contain Mercury (Silver), may be exchanged for Electronic (Digital) Thermometers as well. If your unwanted thermometers contain red (alcohol) or black (citric acid) liquid, simply dispose of them into the solid waste stream. The red or black thermometers are friendly to the environment and do not pose a risk. Only the thermometers containing mercury will be eligible for the exchange program.

For more information, visit the County’s solid waste/recycling web site at or call the Department of Public Works & Transportation at (301) 863-8400.

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