During Spring Cleanup Week, April 18-22, I expect many of you will find items in your workspace or residence that you would like to dispose of.
Unfortunately, some of those items may be classified as hazardous or universal waste and require special disposal, meaning that you can’t just put them in your garbage bin.
Fortunately, here at Edwards AFB we have the means to properly handle almost anything you could encounter except for that science project you started last year in the office refrigerator.
Knowing what items are considered hazardous or universal waste is the first obstacle many of us face. Here at Edwards the California Universal Waste Rule applies to all residents, schools, offices and facilities meaning that certain commonly produced hazardous wastes may have relaxed requirements, but cannot be simply thrown in the trash.
According to California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, Universal Waste Fact Sheet, universal wastes are:
1. Electronic devices: Includes any electronic device that is a hazardous waste with or without a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, VCRs, computer CPUs and portable DVD players.
2. Batteries: Most household-type batteries, including rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, silver button batteries, mercury batteries, alkaline batteries and other batteries that exhibit a characteristic of a hazardous waste
3. Electric lamps: Fluorescent tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge lamps, sodium vapor lamps and electric lamps that contain added mercury, as well as any other lamp that exhibits a characteristic of a hazardous waste. (e.g., lead).
4. Mercury-containing equipment: Thermostats, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, pressure or vacuum gauges, dilators and weighted tubing, mercury rubber flooring, mercury gas flow regulators, dental amalgams, counterweights, dampers and mercury added novelties such as jewelry, ornaments and footwear.
5. CRTs: The glass picture tubes removed from devices such as televisions and computer monitors.
6. CRT glass: A cathode ray tube that has been accidently broken or processed for recycling.
7. Aerosol cans
Other household hazardous wastes include cleaners, fertilizers, glue and adhesives, painting supplies, pesticides, poisons, resins, solvents and compressed gas cylinders.
Base residents, offices and facilities may dispose of most hazardous and universal waste items at the Hazardous Waste Storage Facility and Consolidated Recycling and Universal Waste Facility in Bldg. 4904, 446 N. Rosamond Blvd. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can be reached at -661-277-3681.
The Auto Hobby Shop collects used motor oil and antifreeze Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They can be reached at 661-275-2886.
Off-base residents should contact the Universal Waste Regulatory Assistance Officers at 800-72-TOXIC to find the nearest disposal facilities. On-base facilities cannot accept waste generated off-base.
If you plan on keeping these items, knowing how to properly store them is important as well. Be mindful of using proper containers, cabinets, appropriate and required labeling as well as ensuring climate, environment and access controls. Again, any questions may be directed to the HWSF/CRUW.
For more information, see DTSC’s Universal Waste Web page at: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov.