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Salt Lake County wants your dangerous junk

By Keith McCord | Posted - Aug. 18, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Valley Health Department wants your hazardous household waste, and is making it very easy for you to turn over potentially dangerous items. The agency held one of its community collection events in Holladay Thursday morning, where you could make a difference without even leaving your car.

Dan Moore heads up the Salt Lake County Health Department's hazardous waste program. On days like today, he sorts through a little bit of everything -- though all of them dangerous items that people have dropped off in order to have them properly disposed of.

"We got some snail bait, more snail bait, rat killer, aerosols, yard chemical," he said.

The most unusual item the counties collected this year? A Geiger counter, used to detect radioactive materials.

"If you want to stop hoarding, come see us. We'll take it," he said.


The most unusual item the county's collected this year? A Geiger counter, used to detect radioactive materials.

The biggest contribution residents make is paint, a constant leftover it seems, from major renovations.

"I stored it in my garage. I had some stored there for 30 years," said Salt Lake County resident George Degan.

Another favorite was electronics, which a long row of computer monitors, keyboards and televisions attests to.

"You'd be surprised how many are the newer flat-screen versions; short life-span," Moore said.

Residents find the program convenient, not to mention vital to the environment. These community collection sites keep landfills from becoming overrun with items that could be recycled and prevent hazardous materials from getting dumped in a dangerous way.

"If (something) mixes with the wrong chemicals down a sewer drain, it can cause explosions or fires," Moore said. "Bad chemical reactions, chemical burns for employees. We definitely don't want it getting in the stream system."

However, there are limits to what the health department can take. Ammunition, gun powder, dynamite must be turned over to the fire department or police bomb squad.


The final waste drop-off event of the summer happens next Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Mount Olympus pavilion in Sugar House Park.

The final waste drop-off event of the summer happens next Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Mount Olympus pavilion in Sugar House Park from 7 am - 10 am. Residents have a week to clean out their garage and round-up those unwanted, hazardous products. Otherwise, they'll have to plan a trip to the dump to get rid of the stuff on their own.

Email: [kmccord@ksl.com](<mailto: kmccord@ksl.com>)

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Keith McCord

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