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Locals needing to dispose of household chemicals and electronics can do so free of charge from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Warhill High School.
Saturday will mark the final Virginia Peninsulas Public Service Authority household chemicals and computer/electronics collection for City of Williamsburg and James City County this year.
VPPSA, which has been organizing collections for more than 15 years, now holds 16 collections annually, including five in Williamsburg and James City County, five in York County, five in Hampton and one in Poquoson.
David Magnant, the director of operations for VPPSA, said the collections are critical for environmental health and potentially human safety in Virginia, which has no hazardous waste facility.
“It’s critical that we don’t end up with this stuff in our waterways,” Magnant said. “Getting rid of these types of materials, you can’t do it legally in the state. What do you do with it? In the past, people either try to use it all up or they dump it down the drain. You’d be surprised what people used to do with these [materials].”
VPPSA is asking citizens of Williamsburg and James City County to bring household chemicals such as oil and latex paints, solvents, adhesives, gasoline, brake fluid, insecticides, weed killers, fertilizers, drain cleaners, floor waxes, etc. to be disposed of properly.
Chemists from Clean Harbors, a global hazardous waste disposal company, will be on site to identify and pack up materials collected. Once prepared for shipment, Clean Harbors crews will transport the materials to hazardous waste facilities around the country.
Anyone with spare computer parts or electronics can also unload those during Saturday’s collection.
VersAbility Resources, formerly The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula, takes collected electronics to Hampton, where computers and other electronic devices are disassembled and recycled.
In an effort to protect the safety of those discarding computers, VersAbility employees punch holes in hard drives so no personal information or files can be collected.
Magnant said Saturday’s event is expected to collect roughly $15,000 worth of materials that would otherwise not be properly disposed.
“You don’t want these types of materials in landfills,” he said. “These [collections] are a good way to get rid of all kinds of things. … The smaller amount of stuff we can put in the ground, the better.”
For more information about Saturday’s collection, or to find the dates of other regional collections, click here.