Hazardous Waste: Protecting Our Environment

Proper disposal of hazardous waste, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as, “a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment,” has long been a focus of the City of Auburn Hills. These dangers can result in the contamination of our water supply, air and soil if not disposed of properly.

For one day a year, the Department of Public Works (DPW) hires a company that specializes in the proper recycling, treatment and/or disposal of these materials. Although the 2020 Household Hazardous Waste Day was postponed for about three months due to COVID-19, we were able to hold the event on August 1. The event was held exclusively for Auburn Hills residents (with proof of residency) at the DPW off Brown Road. In total, we had 284 residents deliver over 27,700 pounds of hazardous waste! The most common materials that were dropped off were electronic devices (9,320 pounds), miscellaneous toxic products (5,328 pounds), oil and antifreeze (3,274 pounds), oil-based paints (3,080 pounds) and household batteries (2,113 pounds). Flammable liquids, aerosol cans, pesticides and many other types of products were also dropped off. It’s great to see the commitment of Auburn Hills residents to properly dispose of these hazardous materials.

The next Household Hazardous Waste Day will happen sometime in Spring 2021. Once the exact date is determined, the DPW will publish the date on the City’s website. The information will also be shared on social media and the insert that accompanies the utility bill that is distributed the month prior to the event. Let’s continue to protect ourselves, our neighbors and our environment by properly disposing hazardous waste.

Dean Lent, Department of Public Works

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