Baltimore County Now
Waste Management Program Manager
Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability
Do you ever wonder what to do with left over paints and chemicals in your basement and garage? You know that some of these materials are too dangerous to pour down the drain or throw into the garbage can. Some, like gasoline, paint thinners or pesticides are pretty obvious, but others are not quite so apparent.
Did you know that swimming pool chemicals can react with other materials in your trash to create toxic gases or catch fire? Or that drain cleaners come in two types, strong acids or strong bases? You remember way back from high school chemistry class what happens if a strong acid and strong base get together….not good for whoever is nearby. Did you know that fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, or that rechargeable batteries contain toxic metals such as lead or cadmium?
It doesn’t take a chemist to picture what happens when liquid paints leak out of the garbage can or garbage truck onto our roads and streets and people ride over it w/ their cars….makes a real mess. You probably didn’t know that some latex paints are re-usable. Baltimore County has been recycling latex paints since 1998 and has recycled over 155,821 gallons. That’s enough to fill 20 tanker trucks. The paints go to area non-profit groups for distribution to schools, churches and low-income residents.
This time of year, you can take these paints and chemicals to the county’s Eastern Sanitary Landfill drop off center, located at 6259 Days Cove Road in White Marsh. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., from April through November.
To make the program convenient for residents in other areas, Baltimore County operates one day collection events at other sites. This year’s events are scheduled for Sunday, April 14th from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. at the Texas Landfill on Warren Rd in Cockeysville; and Sunday, November 10th from 9am to 1pm at the Western Acceptance Facility, 3310 Transway Rd in Halethorpe.
If you are not sure what to do with your leftover household paints or chemicals, or have any questions, call the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection at 410 887-3745 and we’ll be happy to help you.