New Moderate Risk Waste Facility opens Dec. 6

In the photo: Chelan County's partners came together for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 6. Pictured, from the left, are Kimberly Grieves of the Washington State Department of Ecology; Lalla Przespolewski, City of Entiat councilwoman; Brenda Blanchfield, manager of the solid waste program for Chelan County; Mayor Frank Kuntz of Wenatchee; Rep. Keith Goehner; and incoming Mayor Bob Goedde of Chelan. 


WENATCHEE – The new Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility opened to the public on Dec. 6.

People will be able to drop off their household hazardous waste – materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, oil-based paints, pool chemicals, and pesticides and fertilizers – at the year-round facility for safe disposal.

“We are very excited to be opening this much-needed facility,” said Brenda Blanchfield, manager of the Solid Waste program of Chelan County Public Works. “In the past, the county has held one-day collection events once a year. A permanent facility gives people more opportunities to dispose of their household hazardous wastes in a safe and responsible way and helps keep these materials out of our groundwater and rivers and lakes.”

The 5,000-square-foot facility was built on county-owned property at 3612 Highway 97A in Wenatchee. It is open to all Chelan County residents three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The facility is free to residents; however, a $10 contribution per trip is appreciated.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 5 to commemorate the completion of the project. The $2.6 million facility is a project of Chelan County and its partners: the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Commerce and the cities of Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan and Entiat.

“We could not have completed this project without the help of our community partners,” said Eric Pierson, director/county engineer of Chelan County Public Works. “The project had reached a standstill in 2017, but our partners stepped up to help finance its completion. This facility is a great example of what a community can accomplish when strong partnerships are formed.”

Household hazardous waste, or HHW, is material that should not be thrown in the garbage but instead be disposed of safely at a Moderate Risk Waste Facility or collection event. HHW is labeled with key words such as caution, flammable, corrosive, warning, poisonous, explosive, danger, toxic or reactive.

HHW includes but is not limited to: automotive products, including used motor oil, antifreeze, gas, brake fluid, waxes, batteries and cleaners; home gardening supplies, including pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides; painting supplies, including oil-based paints and stains, thinners and solvents; kerosene; heating oil; pool and spa chemicals; household cleaners; and fluorescent tubes and bulbs.

Waste collected at the facility will be packed for safe transport and contractor Clean Harbors Environmental of Kent will haul the material away for safe disposal.

Among the facility’s features are a drive-up unloading area for visitors; a reuse area for those materials that are deemed reusable; an office and breakroom area for employees; an emergency wash area; a barrel packing area and lab for material identification; two 200-square-foot storage containers for flammables; and a blast wall for any highly explosive materials that may come in and need temporary storage.

The onsite stormwater system also was designed to retain a 100-year storm event. The system incorporates Low Impact Development design principles that include pervious pavers in the parking areas, an underground stormwater chamber and two bio-filtration swells to promote infiltration of onsite-generated stormwater.

Last Updated: 12/12/2019 09:20 AM

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