Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

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Everything HHW!

Recycling NewsThis newsletter is a refresher course on everything Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). Residents are so careful not to throw hazardous products in the trash. The HHW facility has reported items like chili powder, empty containers, and even shampoo being taken to the facility! We hope this newsletter clarifies what makes a product hazardous, explains how to use the new facility, and provides ideas to avoid having leftover chemicals in the first place.


HHW Facility Now Up and Running

Recycling News

Over 2,000 reservations have been made by residents to safely manage household chemicals since the Lemay Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility opened in March. Residents report the facility staff is friendly and the reservation system easy to use. Plans are now proceeding to open a second site in North County!

HHW by the Numbers

As of September 30th, 2013

Drop off reservations: 2,079

Pounds of latex paint collected: 75,942

Total pounds collected: 91,368

Average fee paid per visit: $12

Average fee paid for latex paint recycling: $7.20

Largest amount brought in at one reservation: 621 lbs. (125 lbs. of HHW and 496 lbs. of latex paint)

The first 50 pounds of HHW are covered by the program. Residents pay a $1.00/pound fee for any amount over 50 lbs.

Drop off reservations can be made at our website! If you do not have internet access, please call (314) 615-8958 for assistance.

Solid Waste Appointment

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Recycling News

Commercial household cleaners can be a common source of toxins in your home. Wouldn’t you prefer using alternatives to these hazardous chemicals? Well, you have an option. By using common ingredients already found in many kitchens, you can make your own, less-toxic cleaners. And they are inexpensive – some even cheaper than the commercial brands you may be using now.

The benefits to using such natural alternatives are many, including improved air quality in your home, less exposure to harmful chemicals, and fewer waste concerns. Below is a list of the six most common ingredients you’ll need for these safer cleaning recipes:

  • Baking Soda – Baking soda cleans, deodorizes, and softens water (increasing its potential for suds and thus a soap’s cleaning power). It also serves as a good scouring powder.
  • Borax – Borax cleans, deodorizes, and softens water. It is also an excellent disinfectant. You can find it in the laundry section of most grocery stores.
  • Castile Soap – Castile soap is a type of soap made entirely from plant-based products. It is non-toxic and it biodegrades safely and completely. It can be found in most grocery and health food stores.
  • Washing Soda – Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, and softens water. It also acts as a disinfectant. It can be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores or in its pure form from chemical supply stores as “sodium carbonate”.
  • White Vinegar – White vinegar cuts grease and freshens.
  • Lemon Juice – Lemon juice, like white vinegar, cuts grease and freshens.


    Below are alternative recipes for common household cleaners. Unless otherwise directed, mix the listed ingredients together and use as you would the commercial alternative:


    Air Freshener: Simmer cinnamon and cloves in water over the stove.


    Bathroom cleaner: Mix ½ cup of baking soda with 2 to 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap.


    Disinfectant: Mix ¼ cup of borax with ½ gallon of hot water.


    Drain Cleaner: First use a plunger. If this does not work, mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar and pour into the drain. Let it sit for several minutes, then pour 2 quarts of boiling water down the drain. [Caution: never use this method if commercial drain cleaners have already been used on a clog.]


    Floor Cleaner: Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water.


    Grease Remover: Use borax on a damp cloth.


    Household Cleaner: Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap, 1 teaspoon of borax, and the juice from one lemon in 1 quart of warm water; alternatively, mix ¼ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of borax, and ½ cup of vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water.


    Mildew Remover: Dissolve ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of borax in warm water. Apply using a sponge or spray bottle.


    Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Pour ¼ cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Let sit for ½ hour. Scrub and flush. Add borax to eliminate stains.


    Window Cleaner: Add 2 teaspoons of vinegar to 1 quart of warm water or add 2 tablespoons of borax to 3 cups of water. After using, rub the glass dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.

    Make sure that all homemade formulas are well-labeled and kept out of the reach of children.

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    Recycling News

    Use of the permanent facility is by reservation. This assures the facility is open, staffed, and able to accommodate you efficiently. Reservations can be made by visiting If you do not have internet access, you can call (314) 615-8958 for assistance.

    Accepted Materials: Paints (oil-based, acrylic, craft, and hobby paints), stains, varnishes, pesticides, herbicides, poisons, gasoline and other fuels, solvents and strippers, aerosols, motor oil and filters, gas cylinders (BBQ pit size or smaller), fluorescent tubes, rechargeable batteries, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid, pool chemicals and other acids and bases, car batteries, wood preservatives, driveway sealant, and items containing mercury (such as thermometers, thermostats, and mercuric salts).

    Unaccepted Materials: Explosives and ammunition, radioactive waste, smoke detectors, medical waste, household trash, tires, electronics, unknown cylinders and other bulky items, and any hazardous material generated by a business or commercial entity.

    Funding for the HHWSTL program comes from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the voter-approved Saint Louis County landfill surcharge fees. For more information, please call (314) 615-8958.

    Recycling News Recycling News
    Recycling News

    These days it seems like every product comes with a warning, so you may not pay much attention to the words on the label. However, when it comes to hazardous products (corrosive, toxic, reactive, or flammable), reading the label is the easiest way to identify the level of hazard. Look for the following signal words and choose the least hazardous product for the job at hand or make it yourself using the recipes on the previous page):

  • Toxic or Poison: Highly poisonous or toxic
  • Danger: Extremely flammable, corrosive, or highly toxic
  • Warning: Moderately toxic or product has fewer hazards
  • Caution: Slightly toxic or product has minimal hazards

    Buying only what you will use is the best way to avoid creating HHW. If you have leftovers, check to see if friends or family can use the product.

    Latex Paint Recycling

    The permanent HHW program is pleased to offer latex paint recycling at the minimal charge of just $0.20 per pound. Latex paint is not hazardous, but it can be recycled. For a full can of paint, the average cost to recycle it is about $2.00. The paint is sent to a plant in Nashville, Illinois, where it is sorted by color, blended, and made into new paint.

    Recycling leftover paint is a good option, but a better option is to paint something! Use small amounts for touch-up jobs and small projects. Large amounts of leftover paint can be donated to organizations such as theater groups, schools, and churches. Store paint away from freezing temperatures and according to label directions to assure the paint remains useable. As a last resort, leftover latex paint can be dried out or absorbed with cat litter and disposed of in the trash.

    Oil-based paint should NEVER be put in the trash. If the paint cannot be completely used up, please schedule a reservation for proper disposal through the permanent HHW program.

    Recycling News

    Don’t assume that all leftover household products need to be managed through the HHW program. By reading product labels you may learn that some items such as cleaners, drain openers, and others are safe to pour down the drain with lots of water.

    NEVER pour products down the drain if the label does not indicate that it’s a safe method of disposal.

    NEVER mix products while pouring them down the drain.

    Finally, empty containers do not need to be managed as HHW. Once the product is gone, the container can be recycled or disposed of in the trash.

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    Recycling News

    Lawn and Gardening

    Pool Chemicals

  • Toward the end of the mowing season, buy smaller quantities of gas, use it up, or give it to a neighbor.
  • When ready to store the mower for the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to leftover fuel or completely drain into a clean safety can.
  • When ready to store the mower for the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to leftover fuel or completely drain into a clean safety can.
  • Store the fuel away from freezing temperatures and sources of heat and flame.
  • When mowing season returns, use old fuel in a ratio of 1:5 old to new.
  • Properly-stored lawn and garden products can be effectively used for many seasons. Read labels for storage requirements.
  • If bags are opened or torn, store them separately in another container with a tightfitting lid. Be sure to keep original labels intact and store containers in a cool, dry location.

    Recycling News

    Proper management and caution is essential when handling pool chemicals. Disposal in the trash is especially hazardous due to the potential for chemical reactions, fires, and the release of toxic fumes when mixed with other household waste. At the end of the pool season, always follow the label directions for storage. If stored properly, pool chemicals will last through the winter. In general:

  • Store pool chemicals in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from other household chemicals and ideally in a locked storage room.
  • Ensure lids are securly attached.
  • Store liquids below powders when on shelves.
  • Keep chemicals away from heat, flame, and sunlight.
  • Inventory chemicals when opening the pool next season and use older chemicals first.
  • Do not mix old chemicals with new ones, even if they are the same type.

    Recycling News
    Recycling News