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Visits to county’s MRWF continue to grow

A new record was set in 2023 at the Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility. The facility took in its greatest amount of household hazardous waste yet – more than 74.3 tons.

In comparison, the drive-up facility collected 66 tons in 2022 from residents. The new record is a 12.5 percent increase over the previous year.

“The amount of waste collected at the facility has increased every year since it opened in 2019,” said Eric Pierson, Chelan County Public Works director/county engineer. “This is household hazardous waste that people are getting out of their homes to be safely recycled, keeping it out of our local landfills and the environment.”

In 2023, the facility also recorded a 36.3 percent increase in its number of visitors. There were 2,201 visits to the facility in 2023, compared to 1,614 in 2022. That means 2023 visitors averaged 67.5 pounds of household hazardous waste each.

Opened in December 2019, the 5,000-square-foot facility was built with a mix of state, county and city monies. The year-round facility serves as a drop-off location for citizens with household hazardous wastes such as latex and oil-based paints, antifreeze, gas, common cleaners, lawn and garden pesticides, motor oil and paint thinners and spray paints. The waste is packaged for shipment at the facility, and a contractor hauls the material away for safe recycling or disposal.

Annually tracking shows that latex paint, which the facility started collecting in 2022 when it joined Washington’s statewide paint recycling program, is by far the most popular waste dropped off at the facility, with 60,173 pounds collected last year.

Much of the material brought into the facility is flammable or toxic, including:

  • 25,596 pounds of used oil (motor and hydraulic)
  • 12,837 pounds of paint-related flammable liquids (oil-based paints, for example)
  • 12,368 pounds of toxic flammable liquids (liquid pesticides, automotive fluids, linseed oil)
  •  6,400 pounds of flammable liquids (gas, diesel and kerosene)

The majority of the material collected is recycled, as opposed to being used as an energy resource or incinerated. In 2023, 68 percent of the material was recycled, compared to 46 percent in 2021.

About 3 percent of the material dropped off is only partially used and in good, clean condition. It is placed on a free reuse cart. People are encouraged to take a look through the cart, which includes everything from spray paint to motor oil to household pesticides, and take something home to use.

The entire year-end report is available online.

The facility is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month. Visit the facility at 3612 Highway 97A in Wenatchee.

Last Updated: 02/27/2024 11:59 AM

Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 27
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Planning Commission - March 27, 2024

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 27
    Mar 2024
    07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Assessor's Office Community Meeting: Cashmere, South Wenatchee and Malaga

    Posted by: Chelan County Assessor

    Chelan County Assessor Wes Cornelius invites property owners and all interested parties to attend one of four community meetings scheduled this spring throughout the county.

    Wenatchee High School (new commons area)
  • 20
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 07:00 PM

    Connect with Chelan County: District 1 Meeting

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    The Chelan County team is coming to a community near you. In March commissioners and a variety of department directors will hold a series of community-led discussions in each of the three districts the commissioners represent.

    Wenatchee High School (new commons area)
  • 13
    Mar 2024
    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

    Connect with Chelan County: District 3 Meeting

    Posted by: Board Of County Commissioners

    The Chelan County team is coming to a community near you. In March, Chelan County commissioners and a variety of department directors will hold a series of community-led discussions in each of the three districts commissioners represent.

    Chelan City Hall
  • 09
    Mar 2024
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    March Parenting Class - English and Spanish

    Posted by: Superior Court Clerk

    Supporting Children Through Divorce is a four-hour educational program designed to help parents focus on the needs of their children during and after divorce and separation.

    Chelan County Administration Building - Enter building from Douglas Street