Ocean County residents now have three chances this spring to rid their homes of potential hazards and protect the environment by registering online for a household hazardous waste program.

Sponsored by the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Solid Waste Management, residents can dump their household hazardous waste at the Lakewood Public Works on Sunday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Stafford Public Works on Saturday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and in Toms River on Bay Avenue on Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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The program is offered in the spring and fall. More program sites will be offered after the one in May.

Board of Commissioners Director Gary Quinn said the program is convenient for the residents and helps them to safely and properly dispose of items that have been laying around someone's garage or piling up under the kitchen sink.

"We do everything that we can to try and minimize any kind of waste going out into the environment and putting residents in a situation where they have an unsafe situation in their own home," Quinn said.

Acceptable items include aerosols, auto products, cleaning products, chemicals, pool chemicals, fire extinguishers, gasoline, herbicides, pesticides, mercury-containing devices, paint thinners, polyurethanes and polishes, propane tanks, stains and varnishes.

All materials except oil and gasoline should be in their original containers. No containers larger than 5 gallons will be accepted. If possible, limit 200 pounds of dry materials and 20 gallons of liquid per household.

Quinn said people should not bring asbestos, batteries, construction debris, electronics, explosives including boat flares, infectious waste, human waste, motor oil, medications, needles, syringes, oxygen tanks, paint and paint cans, radioactive materials and smoke detectors.

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

However, batteries, electronics, motor oil, paint and paint cans are accepted in the county's special waste program site in the southern and northern end of the county Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Quinn said the program has been a tremendous success because it avoids having residents keep these unsafe materials in their homes, dumping them in the environment or even in garbage trucks.

He expects 2021 to be even more successful than 2020's household hazardous waste program because during the pandemic, more people have been home. Many took part in household projects which, in turn, increased garbage volume.

County residents must register to bring their hazardous waste to one of the three sites this spring in Lakewood, Stafford and Toms River at co.ocean.nj.us/recycle

When residents come to the site, they must be masked.

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