TOMS RIVER – Ocean County is kicking off its annual free Household Hazardous Waste Collection program on April 1 with its first stop in Stafford Township.
"I am pleased to announce the first three dates for 2017 of this very popular program," said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management. "I am happy we can offer it again this year. It provides benefits to not just our citizens but also protects the environment."
Last year, the County collected 290,602 pounds of household hazardous waste, up about 20,000 pounds, at a cost of $123,688. The program is funded in part by the State Recycling Enhancement Act Tax Fund.
"This free program, which got started in 1989, provides an avenue to get rid of items like paints, paint thinner, and cleaners, properly and safely, keeping the material from entering our waterways and our preserved lands," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "The Department of Solid Waste Management has done a great job in implementing this program for almost three decades."
The program will run at least once a month from April to October and is held at different collection sites throughout the County.
"We work to make certain this program is accessible to our residents," Little said. "It is held in towns, both large and small, and citizens in any Ocean County town can attend any site. Our residents can attend any location."
The first dates, times and locations for the 2017 collection are: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 1 at the Stafford Township Public Works Garage, 320 Haywood Road; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 13, Toms River Township Public Works Garage, 1672 Church Road, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 3 at the Manchester Township Public Works Garage, 1360 Route 70.
While the program is free registration is required.
To register for the Stafford Township collection site call 609-978-0913; for the Toms River Township site call 732-506-5047 and for the Manchester collection site call 732-367-0802.
Municipal recycling centers and the county's recycling centers also allow for drop off of a host of materials including used paint, motor oil and car batteries.
"Our residents should check with us or their local recycling center to determine what is accepted year-round eliminating the need to store potentially hazardous items in their home," Little said.
Residents can drop off a maximum of 200 pounds of dry material and 20 gallons of liquid at the County's household hazardous waste collection sites. No containers over five gallons will be accepted.
Materials accepted at the household hazardous waste collection sites are: paints, thinners, boat paints, solvents, pool chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, aerosol cans, auto products, toilet and drain cleaners, silver polishes, oven cleaners, photographic chemicals, rug and upholstery cleaners, polishes and bleaches, waste oil and used gasoline.
Little noted that additional dates, times and locations will be announced in the near future.
The three spring dates will be serviced by Radiac Environmental Services at a cost of 45 cents a pound.
Program information also can be found on the county website at www.co.ocean.nj.us or by calling 1-800-55-RECYCLE.
"Spring is the time of year when people are cleaning out garages, basements and attics," Little said. "We encourage our residents to use this free program to make certain chemicals, cleaners, solvents and other items we use around the house are disposed of properly."