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Public Works Blog

County to build year-round moderate risk waste facility

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A popular question at Chelan County Public Works is just when are we going to have another household hazardous waste collection event?

In the past, the solid waste department has sponsored county-wide household hazardous waste days. The events were typically held every one to two years. However, the events are expensive – over $70,000 an event.

The county decided about five years ago that instead of holding these events it would focus on a long-term solution. So the county is in the process of opening a facility – called a moderate risk waste facility – that will be open year round for the residents and small quantity generators of Chelan County. (Small quantity generators are typically businesses that produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste a month.)

The 5,200-square-foot facility will be open on Highway 97A, near All Seasons RV. Construction on the facility is expected to begin by spring 2019 and the building may be completed later that summer. It will be called Clean Solutions.

While the news of a year-round facility is exciting for Chelan County, the bad news is that until the facility is built we don’t have an opportunity for you to safely dispose of your kitchen and bathroom cleaners; paint thinner and degreasers; automobile fluids; rodent killers and insects sprays; and other household products.

Until we are able to open the new facility, we are passing along a few ideas for some of those materials you may have around your home:

  • Used motor oil: The Dryden Transfer Station will take up to 5 gallons at a time of used motor oil for a small fee. The Chelan Transfer Station also will take up to 5 gallons at a time. The oil cannot be contaminated. If it is, it must be saved for the moderate risk waste facility.
  • Antifreeze: Antifreeze recycling is done at the Dryden and Chelan transfer stations for a small fee. Like motor oil, it cannot be contaminated. If contaminated, antifreeze must be saved for the moderate risk waste facility.
  • Pesticides: The Washington State Department of Agriculture has regional collection events as part of its Waste Pesticide Disposal Program. The free program is primarily directed at farmers and orchardists who have unusable pesticides. The program may also provide assistance to homeowners or estates where unused, commercial- or agricultural-grade pesticides have accumulated over a period of time. All events are by registration. Call the WSDA at 877-301-4555 for more information.
  • Paints: Oil-based paint and spray paint can be disposed of by spreading/spraying wet paint on cardboard and waiting until the paint has dried. Then throw the cardboard in your household garbage. Latex and water-based paint can be thickened with kitty litter and, if you leave the top off the can, put into your home garbage receptacle. It does not have to be fully dried. Or, if your paint cans are nearly full, they can be donated to the Habitat for Humanity store in Wenatchee.
  • Rechargeable batteries: Rechargeable and button batteries should be taken to a drop-off site for recycling. Locate a drop-off site online at www.call2recycle.org. Sites in Chelan County include: Lowe’s, 1200 Walla Walla Ave., Wenatchee; Office Depot, 915 N. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee; Home Depot, 1405 Maidan Lane, Wenatchee; Pacific Power Batteries, 742 S. Mission, Wenatchee; and Deep Water Electronics, 131, E. Woodin Ave., Chelan.

At this time, we are suggesting that if homeowners have any other household hazardous wastes that they store the items safely in their homes until the Clean Solutions facility is open. Watch the Solid Waste page for updates on the facility as well as our Facebook page. Or, if you’d like to be informed directly of the facility’s opening, join the Solid Waste ListServe.


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