Landfill hosts community hazardous waste collection event April 5-6

March 28, 2013

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Residents of Garfield County can get a head start on spring cleanup by getting rid of toxic and hazardous waste items from their homes, garages and workshops. The West Garfield County Landfill has scheduled its first spring hazardous waste event, and has just begun planning to hold these events twice annually.

The event is Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, from 9 am to 3 pm both days. It is at the West Garfield County Landfill on Anvil Points Road, at 0075 County Road 246, near Rifle. It is for residential customers and Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators. The Board of County Commissioners provides the hazardous waste drop off for county residents free of charge.

Appointments are available at five minute intervals; please call 625-2516 to set up an appointment.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generate 1.6 million tons of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) per year. The average homeowner collects 100 pounds of HHW around the house. Many people wonder where all of these items will go once they are collected. Residents can be assured they are not buried and left to seep into dirt and groundwater. Their disposal is carefully handled by HHW experts under the oversight of the EPA. Garfield County contracts with Clean Harbors of Denver, CO to dispose of hazardous waste items through the following methods.

Recycling is the first consideration when possible. Items the landfill will accept include automotive fluids, batteries and filters. Surprisingly, antifreeze and automotive batteries, motor oil and oil filters can all be recycled. Latex paint will be recycled or reused. Also recycled are fluorescent light tubes, rechargeable household batteries, and of course, propane cylinders. Even mercury thermometers and thermostats can be recycled!

Energy recovery is another useful method of managing hazardous waste items. Fluids such as gasoline and transmission fluid can fuel kilns or incinerators. Oil based prints, strippers and thinners can be used as such a resource. Arts and craft supplies containing petroleum distillates, adhesives and glues, furniture polish, lighter fluid and nail polish remover are all reusable as an energy resource.

Brake fluid contains glycols, so is handled through destructive incineration. Other items disposed of this way include wood preservatives, household aerosols, medication, and mothballs. All lawn and garden items accepted as hazardous waste, such as ant spray and bait, fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, herbicides, flea and tick products, and rodent poisons will also be incinerated. Some photo chemicals, and disinfectant cleaners, asphalt roofing tar and sealers will also be disposed of through destructive incineration.

Some household products can be neutralized and then may be discarded through wastewater treatment systems. These are some photo chemicals, bathroom cleaners and bleach, drain openers, oven cleaners, and pool chemicals.

While this includes some items that are hazardous, there are many more around some homes. Look for symbols conveying that they are toxic or corrosive, an irritant, flammable or combustible, dangerous, or contain a caution or warning.

items that won't be accepted

Residents should bring all items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original labeled containers. Products should not be mixed together.

Wastes that will not be accepted:

  • Unknown items
  • Containers larger than 5-gallons gross volume
  • Electronic waste
  • Medical, sharp or biohazardous waste
  • Radioactive waste, such as smoke detectors
  • Drug Enforcement Agency controlled substances
  • Prescription pharmaceuticals
  • Compressed gas cylinders other than aerosol or propane
  • Ammunition, explosives or fireworks (nothing explosive)

For more information, visit or call landfill staff at 625-2516.