Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Household Hazardous Waste Collections
Pima County has operated a household hazardous waste (HHW) drop-off center since 1988, and won various national awards for its recycling programs. The County’s efforts include a HHW program which provides waste collection and educational services, and a Drop & Swap program that allows participants to drop off unwanted chemicals and/or pick up free supplies. Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) has extended these programs to its employees by creating a partnership with Pima County and the City of Tucson.
Through this partnership, RMSC holds a HHW collections event, three times a year, at its facility. On these designated days, employees bring unwanted hazardous chemicals from home for disposal at RMSC. This approach reinforces proper HHW handling/disposal practices at home, and provides a great opportunity to team with County/City officials on safety and environmental issues. During the first year, the company collected 25,901 pounds of unwanted hazardous material (e.g., batteries, paint products, used oil) from its employees’ homes and garages. A questionnaire, circulated during the company’s initial events, confirmed that large quantities of chemicals would have been illegally dumped into Arizona’s deserts, ravines, and sewers without this HHW program.
RMSC’s HHW collections event attracts a high percentage of participants every year. Employees remark that the event helps them feel good about recycling and gives them a source for obtaining environmental, health, and safety information. Participants also receive an inexpensive “I have recycled my hazardous waste today” label to proudly wear throughout the day.
RMSC’s HHW outreach program assists the community with environmental education by promoting home safety and recycling practices. The company is responsible for furnishing the collection site, publicizing the upcoming event, and providing environmentally-trained employees to help the County HHW workers safely collect the chemicals during the event. In return, Pima County and the City of Tucson pay the costs associated with collecting, packaging, transporting, and disposing the collected materials.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.