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PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Drain or Trash No Place for Household Chemicals

Products like household paints can be harmful to the environment when they are dumped down the train or in the trash. (Peter Burka/Flickr)
Products like household paints can be harmful to the environment when they are dumped down the train or in the trash. (Peter Burka/Flickr)
October 7, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. – Lawnmowers will soon be switched out for snow blowers in many Washington garages, as homeowners assess what they'll need during the winter months. And often, hazardous materials that need disposal are uncovered in garages and sheds during the process.

Trish Radke, the program coordinator for the Metro Waste Authority, said dumping hazardous chemicals down the sink or into a storm drain has serious health and environmental consequences.

"Water waste from our homes, it connects to city sewers and then, it goes through wastewater-treatment facilities before it's discharged into rivers and streams," she explained. "And some hazardous products, they don't break down in those systems due to the chemical makeup. And so, it's really important not to be dumping them down the drain."

She noted that disposal in the regular garbage is also discouraged, as chemicals can be dangerous for sanitation workers who come into contact with the trash, or for other people and pets if materials leak. Any product that could be considered dangerous can be taken to a Hazardous Waste Drop-Off site, where it will be disposed of safely.

Fertilizers, pesticides, deck stains and oil cans are among items that can be flammable and even explode in certain conditions. And Radke has tips to identify if other products are dangerous.

"When you're doing a clean-out, look for those labels that say 'hazardous, toxic, flammable,' those key words are going to help you determine if that's something that you need to think a little bit before you just put it in your regular trash or certainly, before you would dump it down a drain," she added.

She also added that the same holds true for pool chemicals and some indoor cleaning products. She suggested contacting the local solid waste agency to find hazardous waste drop-off sites in your area.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA