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Storing chemicals is potentially dangerous, and an unnecessary risk if you don’t need them anymore. To help residents who need to get rid of such things, the Napier and Hastings councils run a hazardous waste collection service once a year with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

It covers things that can’t be dumped into the landfill; things like paint, paint strippers, pesticides, herbicides, petrol, oil, diesel, toilet, drain and oven cleaners, pool chemicals, batteries, gas bottles and energy-efficient light bulbs.

They can be dropped off to the HazMobile collection in the Splash Planet car park on Saturday (Nov 7), 10am to 2pm, and at Eastern Truck and Marine, Austin St, Napier, on Sunday (Nov 8), 10am to 2pm.

Drop off is free, making it the perfect time to get rid of potentially dangerous chemicals, says HastingsDistrict Council waste minimisation planner Angela Atkins.

The problems with keeping chemicals and toxic cleaners at home for long periods of time include that they can react with each other and cause a fire or toxic fumes, and that there is always a risk that if not stored correctly children can get at them and poison or burn themselves, she says.

The other advantage of using the HazMobile to get rid of waste is that it means much of it will be recycled.

"About 75 per cent of the waste paint collected is recycled, with the final product used for anti-graffiti work. Paint cans and plastic paint pails are recycled. Much of the waste oil and petrol is used as a fuel source for heating, for example to fire a large New Zealand cement kiln. Wet cell batteries (lead-acid) are recycled in New Zealand, while rechargeable nickel-cadmium and mercury-containing batteries are recycled overseas," Ms Atkins says.

For the full list of items the hazardous waste collection will accept see: hastingsdc.govt.nz/hazmobile or: napier.govt.nz/services/rubbish-and-recycling/hazardous-waste/hazardous-waste-collection

Things that can’t be accepted include commercial hazardous waste, electronic waste, ammunition or other explosives, medical waste, or agricultural chemicals. Information on how to deal with those is also on the websites.

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