It's spring cleaning time and many residents may find themselves wondering what to do with the hazardous chemicals that have been sitting in the basement or garage.
Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority can help with a free, two-day event for safe disposal.
The annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 26 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27 at CCRRA on Transfer Road, between the Nittany Mall and Rockview. A large sign provided by State College Borough will show where to turn into the transfer station.
"This is the time when homeowners are cleaning out their garages, sheds, basements and you have those really bad chemicals you don’t want to throw away. You don’t want to dump them down the drain but you don’t know what to do with them," Amy Schirf, CCRRA education coordinator, said at this week's Centre County Commissioners meeting. "This is your one time a year for a free event to make sure they are properly disposed and properly recycled."
Residents should put the chemicals in a box they don't mind leaving and upon arrival will not need to get out of their vehicles. Workers will remove the items and drivers can be on their way.
"It’s painless," Schirf said. "There’s really never a line unless you come right at the beginning, sometimes there’s a little line. We try to get people through really quickly."
Each year the event sees about 1,000 vehicles come through with 60,000 to 70,000 pounds of household hazardous waste.
Insecticides, weed killers, pool chemicals, cleaners, poisons, corrosives, flammables, oil-based paints, CFL bulbs, fluorescent tubes and most other hazardous chemicals (from households only) will be accepted.
Items that will not be accepted are motor oil, antifreeze, latex paints, batteries, explosives and medications.
Schirf said certain service stations take motor oil and antifreeze for recycling. Latex paint, meanwhile, is water-based and not considered hazardous. It can be dried out in the can and thrown away, and large amounts can be disposed of at the transfer station for regular fees.
For medications, April 27 is Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsel said from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day two deputies and members of the HOPE Initiative will be at Burkholder's Market in Spring Mills and Weis Market in Philipsburg to collected unused medications.
Those two locations were selected because they do not have a nearby prescription drug drop-off box. In Centre County, medication drop-off boxes are located at the Bellefonte, Ferguson Township, Patton Township, State College and Penn State police departments, the sheriff's office and the Willowbank Building in Bellefonte.
More information on medication collection in Centre County can be found here.
Schirf said that otherwise if residents have household chemicals they are unsure of, they can bring them to the hazardous waste collection.
"Mostly though, if you have something in your house that is some kind of chemical and if you don’t even know what it is, we will take it," she said.