By Betsy Natter

Sat. April 22 is Earth Day 2017 and while many organizations sponsor special educational events and project days, recycling and care of the environment is a year-round task. Montgomery County residents can do their part by participating in a variety of recycling programs over the next several months. County sponsored events will allow residents to safely dispose of hazardous household materials, old tires, medicines and confidential documents. All events are free. Check out the events and links below to learn how to recycle unwanted items in your home.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
9 am – 3 pm, (Rain or shine)

Sat, April 22
Indian Valley Middle School
130 Maple Ave., Harleysville, PA 19438

Sat., May 13
Lockheed Martin
(enter on Goddard Boulevard)
230 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406

Sat., May 20
Temple University – Ambler Campus
(enter at 1431 East Butler Pike) Ambler, PA 19002

Typically, any type of toxic or flammable chemical is considered a hazardous waste and needs to be properly disposed of to keep the environment safe. Items for collection at this event include: gasoline, oil, kerosene, turpentine, paint thinner, oil paint, stains, varnish, pool chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, antifreeze, caustic cleaners and solvents, mercury, thermometers, flares, fire extinguishers, lead acid batteries, rechargeable batteries, fluorescent tube light bulbs and ballast, CFL bulbs, mini propane canisters, and electric oil filled heaters.

Items that are NOT hazardous include latex or water-based paints and alkaline batteries. Also, do not bring large propane tanks, medicines (see below), electronics or items containing Freon.

When arriving at the collection site, volunteer workers will empty your vehicle; stay in your car to facilitate faster service. Click here for additional collection locations and dates throughout the summer and fall.

Document Shredding
9 am – Noon (Rain or shine)

Saturday, May 6
Indian Valley Middle School
130 Maple Avenue, Harleysville, PA 19438

In partnership with Shred One Security Corporation, the Montgomery County commissioners sponsor this free event so residents can securely dispose of and recycle sensitive documents. Volunteers will unload your car for faster service. All material is shredded on site by mobile shredding trucks; once the trucks are full the event will close. Participants are asked to only bring two paper bags or boxes per vehicle; no businesses please. Staples or paper clips can be left on documents, but no cardboard, metal or plastic should be included. Two additional events will be offered in the fall. Shred One’s paper recycling rate currently saves 70,000 trees annually.

Medicines – TAKE BACK DAY
10 am –2 pm

Sat., April 29
Any local police station

Semi-annually, local police departments accept prescription medicines and over-the-counter pills, tablets and lotions to provide residents with a safe way to get rid of unused and unwanted medicines. The Prescription Drug Disposal Program reduces the circulating drug supply as well as keeps the water supply safe by avoiding contamination. During last fall’s collection, nearly 6,000 pounds of medicines were collected.

Medications accepted include tablets, capsules, liquid medications, inhalers, ointments, nasal sprays and pet meds. All prescription meds can be in the original bottles but with the label removed or with the name blacked out. Intravenous medications, injectable solutions and syringes are not accepted. Check here for more information and addresses to find your nearest police station and which sites accept year-round drop-offs.

Tire Collections
9 am to Noon (Rain or shine)

Sat., June 10
Montgomery County Community College
340 DeKalb Pk., Blue Bell, PA 19422

Sat., June 17
Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center
77 Graterford Rd., Limerick, PA 19468

Sat., July 1
Abington Junior High School
2056 Susquehanna Rd., Abington, PA 19001

Improperly disposed of tires are not only unsightly, but can become a breeding ground for disease carrying insects such as mosquitoes. Tires collected at these events will be shredded and reused locally in road material, highway sound barriers and as playground material. The free event is for all county residents with a limit of 8 tires per vehicle; no businesses please. Rims are also accepted, but no off-road tires. 

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