Many folks are using increased time at home to spruce up and clean out homes, apartments, garages etc. It is especially important now to safely gather hazardous materials and keep them away from children and others who may mistake their purpose and not realize their dangers. Also, with people trying to sanitize things more frequently, it is essential to use chemicals as directed, avoid unsafe mixtures and wear protective gloves, masks or goggles as needed or available.

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority continues to plan for Household Hazardous Waste Days in 2020. It is essential to use this service to keep these materials out of the larger environment. If there is a postponement of this event due to the new coronavirus, please make a plan to be ready for the next date. At this time, the 2020 dates are to be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 2, June 6, July 11, Sept. 12 and Nov. 7.

The best thing to do is to go on the ACUA website at acua.com/hhw, read it over, and see the brochure that has their registration form on it as well. It also has information about proper disposal options for expired or unwanted medication. You can find this information at acua.com/medicine.

Remember that putting toxic materials in the trash creates danger for sanitation workers and equipment, increasing the possibility of fire, explosion and chemical injury. Please note that latex paint is not considered a hazardous waste. Either let the paint residue dry in the can or place some kitty litter, sawdust or speed-dry compound in the liquid to congeal it. Then the containers can be placed in the trash.

It may be a good idea to partner with your friends, family or neighbors to gather materials in a safe spot and then to transport them to ACUA. Whoever brings the materials must bring proof of Atlantic County residency such as driver’s license, tax bill or other such document with proof of address.

So, the ACUA program is for residents only, with limits on quantities as spelled out on the website and brochure. Businesses, commercial entities and institutions must use licensed hazardous waste removal services available to them for their specific needs.

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