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Wastemobile's new location serves South King County

Hazardous waste is unloaded at a King County wastemobile event. Protective gear and materials are used for safety reasons. The wastemobile, in previous years, visited Federal Way a few times annually. Those visits are being replaced by an event to take place at the Auburn Supermall every first and third weekend of the month.  - Jacinda Howard/The Mirror
Hazardous waste is unloaded at a King County wastemobile event. Protective gear and materials are used for safety reasons. The wastemobile, in previous years, visited Federal Way a few times annually. Those visits are being replaced by an event to take place at the Auburn Supermall every first and third weekend of the month.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard/The Mirror

Federal Way residents no longer have to wait for a periodic wastemobile event to discard hazardous materials.

Beginning the weekend of July 17-19, the wastemobile, presented by Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, a multi-governmental organization, will make a regular appearance at the Auburn Supermall, 1101 Supermall Way in Auburn.

The disposal site will be set up at the mall 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every first and third weekend, from Friday through Sunday of each month throughout the summer. The regular appearances in South King County will continue for the next 18 months, but the event’s location may change come September.

The wastemobile’s regular appearance in close proximity to Federal Way means the city’s sporadic events will cease. The Supermall location replaces the varied visits the wastemobile used to make to South King County areas, including Federal Way. Three permanent waste disposal sites are established in Seattle and Bellevue, but in prior years, the wastemobile visited the southern part of the county infrequently, said Rob Van Orsow, Federal Way’s solid waste and recycling coordinator.

“Even though it came to other cities nearby, it was very erratic,” Van Orsow said. “This will give us some regularity of service.”

A growing number of residents in South King County have shown an interest in hazardous waste disposal, said Julie Mitchell, King County Solid Waste division project program manager. The county’s southern population grew so quickly that residents in Federal Way, Kent and Auburn were underserved by the county’s previous periodic visits, she said.

The twice-monthly Supermall location will offer the same services as the city’s previous wastemobile events, but will bring convenience. Several hazardous materials will be taken. Automobile batteries and liquids, such as oil and antifreeze, alkaline batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, glues, oil-based paints and pesticides are just some dangerous products that can be dropped off at the site.

Some restrictions apply. No more than 50 gallons of liquid waste per customer will be accepted. No more than 30 gallons of gasoline will be taken. Containers over five gallons in size are not permitted and latex paint will not be accepted. Last year, the wastemobile stopped accepting electronics. These items can now be dropped off regularly at places such as Goodwill, located at 32521 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way.

The King County Solid Waste Division recommends safe procedures for transporting the materials. Resist mixing products and keep all hazardous materials in their original containers, if possible. Materials that are not in their original containers ought to be labeled. All hazardous materials should be transported in secure containers that are kept away from passengers, according to the King County Solid Waste Division.

Check it out

In 2008, the county held 31 collection events. The wastemobile served more than 14,000 county residents and collected an average of 54 pounds of hazardous waste per customer, according to a King County Solid Waste Division Web page titled "Household Hazardous Waste Collection Options" and found at http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/facilities/hazwaste.asp.

Learn more

To learn more about the Wastemobile and items that are accepted, call the Hazards Line at (206) 296-4692. To learn more about what happens to the materials once they are gathered, visit http://www.govlink.org/hazwaste/house/disposal/whathappens.html.

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