The Wilton Conservation Commission is sponsoring Wilton’s Annual HazWaste Collection Day on Saturday, Oct. 13. This event enables Wilton residents to safely dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste by bringing it to the collection where a certified hazardous waste contractor will provide appropriate and responsible disposal of the unwanted products.

This annual fall event will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Miller-Driscoll School Parking Lot at 217 Wolfpit Rd.. The collection is open to all Wilton residents, as well as residents of Norwalk, Darien, Greenwich, Stamford, Weston and Westport. Proof of residency (a driver’s license) is required.

Nearly all households contain some household hazardous waste (HHW). HHW is generally defined as a household waste that is corrosive (such as acids and alkalis), flammable, reactive or toxic (poisonous). Common HHW includes paint thinners, pool chemicals, pesticides, mercury thermometers, and gasoline. When these products are no longer wanted or needed, they become hazardous waste and must be disposed of responsibly and safely so that they do not lead to personal injury and do not enter the food chain or contaminate drinking water supplies. Household hazardous waste collection programs provide an opportunity to manage these wastes in an environmentally safe manner.

Mike Conklin, Wilton’s director of environmental affairs, says it’s an event that is always well-attended, and lines of cars sometimes develop, causing wait times that sometimes approach an hour. He suggests neighbors might want to work together.

“If you know someone that’s going to the collection, if you just had a few things, you can always ask them, ‘Would you mean bringing my little box of stuff?’ Or vise versa. So, if you’re eager to go to the hazardous waste collection, you could always ask some of your neighbors or friends if they wanted you to bring anything. They may have one mercury thermostat that they switched out of their house. So rather than the person having to wait for a full hour in line, if they could give it to a friend who’s got a truck load of other stuff, it just might make it more efficient,” Conklin suggests.

He also adds that the materials don’t even have to be separated out into categories–sometimes just having them in a box that the contractors can just take out of the car will help, enabling anyone disposing items to simply drive up, drop off and drive away.

Conklin does caution safety, however.

“You should take precautions with many household chemicals. So when that label says you should wear rubber gloves when using this product, or don’t get it in your eyes or whatever, that’s not something to take lightly. Many of these products, if they’re spilled, if it’s like a bleach could eat right through your clothing. Sometimes people bring pool chemicals and those chemicals can volatize so they can produce vapors, or could cause chemical burns. So it is important that everyone, whatever they’re bringing, that they package it up so that it doesn’t spill in the car and they don’t spill it on themselves,” he says.

I know it seems like common sense but it’s just important to always kinda reiterate safety.

Common household products that should not end up in household trash and will be accepted at the event include:

Aerosol Cans (not empty)
Arts/Craft Supplies
Asphalt/Roof Sealer
Bathroom Cleaners
Brake Fluid
Chemical Fertilizers
Chemistry Kits
Drain Cleaners
Fire Extinguishers
Flea Powders/Sprays
Floor Care Products
Furniture/Car Polish
Hair Dyes & Sprays
Household Batteries
Metal Polish
Moth Balls
Nail Polish/Remover
Oven Cleaners
Paint Strippers/Thinners
Photo Chemicals
Pool Chemicals
Rodent Poison
Tile/Toilet Cleaners
Transmission Fluid

This event is for the collection of household hazardous waste only. Paint and electronics will not be accepted.

For more information, contact the Wilton Department of Environmental Affairs at 203.563.0180.