Ask Waste Watchers: What can I take to the Wolcott waste facility? |

Ask Waste Watchers: What can I take to the Wolcott waste facility?

Joseph Walls
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

Can I get a list of all of the items that are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facility?

George in Edwards

Thank you for the great question, George.

This is the second of a two-part series listing classes of materials that are accepted at Household Hazardous Waste and why you should dispose of them properly. Part one of this series, as well as other earlier articles, can be found online at and search for Waste Watchers.

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Latex paint: Latex paint, although not considered a hazardous material, should be solidified before it is discarded with regular garbage. Municipal landfills are not designed to handle liquids nor does your garbage collector want to crush a can of paint and have it leak into the street. Household Hazardous Waste receives more than 40,000 pounds of latex and water-based paint annually.

Batteries: Some batteries can be safely thrown away, but some should never be thrown away. Batteries of all sizes, ranging from tiny button cells to extra-large lead acid batteries, can be recycled at Household Hazardous Waste. We recycle thousands of pounds of batteries annually.

Oil and antifreeze: Used motor oil is a suspected cancer-causing agent, and antifreeze can be deadly if ingested. They are also liquids, and liquids are not acceptable at municipal landfills. Household Hazardous Waste sends hundreds of gallons of used oil and antifreeze to be recycled annually.

Cooking oil and grease: Cooking oils and greases are not hazardous materials, but they can and should be recycled. Pouring oil and grease down the drain leads to clogged plumbing in your home and underground sewage pipes. Household Hazardous Waste sends more than 500 gallons of cooking oil annually to a recycler in Boulder, who converts it into biodiesel.

Light bulbs and ballasts: Did you know that all fluorescent bulbs contain mercury or that light ballasts from the 1970s and older may contain a very toxic compound called PCBs? If you are uncertain as to which types of lighting are safe to throw in the garbage and which are not, bring them to the HHW for sorting and proper disposal.

Electronics: Electronics should not be thrown away. By volume, electronics are a small percentage of the waste entering landfills but are responsible for most of the heavy-metal contamination. Landfills are not designed to handle large quantities of toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead, which are commonly found in electronics. We recycled more than 18,000 pounds of electronics last year and are on track to recycle even more this year.

Mercury: Mercury is a toxic heavy metal and environmental pollutant. It is usually found around your home in devices such as old thermometers, barometers or thermostats. Mercury also can be found in old antiseptics such as mercurochrome and old chemistry sets.

Joseph Walls is hazardous-waste specialist at the Eagle County Household Hazardous Waste facility, located at the landfill in Wolcott. The facility is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Call 970-328-3468 or visit for information.

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