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For Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning, Come to Union County’s Household Hazardous Waste Events

Union County, NJ – March 29, 2022 — The spring cleaning season is here, and spring also marks the start of Union County’s annual series of free Household Hazardous Waste events. Any Union County resident can bring their old or unwanted chemical products and other potentially hazardous items to these events for safe, environmentally responsible disposal.

The Household Hazardous Waste events are for residential use only. No business waste is accepted.

“At this time of year we encourage everyone to take a look in their cupboards, closets, basements and sheds. If you spot old or unwanted items that need special disposal, please put them aside in a dry, secure place until you can bring them to one of our Household Hazardous Waste events. Our staff will handle them safely and responsibly,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams.

The first Household Hazardous Waste event of the 2022 season will take place on Saturday, April 9, in Parking Lots 5A and 5 B of the Union County College campus in Cranford, at 1033 Springfield Avenue, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Residents are reminded to keep items separated in their original containers with the labels intact, and follow instructions for safe storage. Mixing or improperly storing household chemicals could result in fire, explosion, or toxic releases.

Union County’s Household Hazardous Waste events are designed to ensure environmentally safe disposal for many different chemicals and items commonly found in the home and yard, including (but not limited to):

  • Household and hobby supplies: Cleansers, caustics, corrosives, aerosol cans
  • Household items: Fire extinguishers, mercury thermometers, intact fluorescent bulbs, thermostats, smoke detectors, batteries (except alkaline batteries)
  • Do-it-yourself projects: Oil based paints and varnishes (no latex paint), mercury switches, asbestos material
  • Auto maintenance and repair: Antifreeze, motor oil, oil filters, tires (limit 8 tires per household, no rims)
  • Yard and pool supplies: Pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, lubricants, pool chemicals

As a reminder latex (water based) paint is not accepted. Leftover latex paint can be saved for future use, donated or shared, or dried in the can. Cans of fully dried paint may be disposed in regular household trash.

In addition, alkaline batteries are not accepted. These batteries are clearly marked and may be disposed in regular household trash.

For the full 2022 schedule along with additional details and instructions on what to bring/not bring, visit ucnj.org/recycling/household-special-waste.

Union County residents can help keep hazardous chemicals out of the waste stream by choosing safer alternatives for cleaning and maintaining the home and yard:

  • Look for eco-friendly brands when shopping
  • When replacing old gas powered lawn mowers and other equipment, switch to electric models
  • Try a plunger or plumber’s snake before using a liquid or powder drain cleaner

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also provides guidance on safer household products, including a searchable database of certified “Safer Choice” products by brand name, at epa.gov/greenerproducts.

Recipes for homemade, low-impact home cleaning supplies are easy to fine online and in consumer magazines, including:

Window and glass cleaner: Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 quart of water. Use in a spray bottle. Wipe dry with old newspapers to avoid streaking.

Stains and spots remover: Use cream of tartar, a common baking ingredient, to remove stains from sinks, tubs, and aluminum pans.

Grime and grease cleaner: For routine cleaning, add a bit of baking soda to liquid soap.

Wood cleaner: Add 6 teaspoons of light olive oil to 3 cups of distilled white vinegar. Use in a spray bottle (shake well before using) and wipe dry with a clean lint-free cloth.

Air freshener:  Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups of hot water. Use in a spray bottle.

Moth prevention: Cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, or white peppercorns.

For more information about Union County’s waste management and recycling programs, call the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning at (908) 654-9890, visit online at ucnj.org/recycling, or use the online contact form at ucnj.org/recycle (scroll down page to see form).

Download the free Recycle Coach app for the latest news, schedules, and updates tailored to your home town. The app also includes all countywide programs.

For quick links to all environmental programs and activities hosted by the Commissioner Board visit The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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