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Photo by Cpl. Rashaun X. James

Hazardous materials require proper disposal

16 Sep 2010 | Cpl. Rashaun X. James

Some Marines and family members have called the Environmental Affairs Department aboard the air station with concerns about where they can dispose of their household hazardous waste and electronics.

While attending a local Coastal Environmental Partnership meeting, Rick Weaver, an environmental scientist with the Environmental Affairs Department on Cherry Point, received a brochure detailing a series of household hazardous waste and electronics collection days open to residents of Carteret, Craven and Pamlico County.

The hazardous materials accepted for disposal include latex and oil paints, used motor oil, lawn and garden fertilizer, pesticides, gasoline, drain openers, paint thinners, cooling oil, anti-freeze and batteries.

Electronics accepted include computers, television picture tubes, televisions, used cell phones and other electronic waste from households only, no commercial sources.

“Disposing of hazardous waste is a pretty common problem in households in our surrounding area,” Weaver said. “These opportunities are rare, and we want to let people know there is a way for them to get rid of these hazardous materials safely.”

Weaver went on to speak about the potential dangers of hazardous materials entering the ecosystem.

“If these materials are not disposed of properly there is the potential for it to end up in surrounding streams,” Weaver said. “Once it ends up there it has the potential to harm the wildlife. There is also the risk of these materials soaking into the soil and doing significant long-term harm.”

In a separate but related incident, some Marines and their family members were concerned about hazardous waste being poured down kitchen sinks. The primary substance being poured down the sinks was usually cooking grease.

Atlantic Marine Corps Communities strategic marketing manager Dixie Lanier spoke about the dangers of this practice.

“We try to help educate our residents about these issues,” Lanier said. “Many of them are young and may not know what not to pour down their drains. Pouring substances like cooking grease down the drain can cause the piping to thin and eventually can cause the entire plumbing system to become compromised, causing structural and environmental damage.”

Lanier stressed that if residents have any questions about what to do with any hazardous materials they should call the AMCC’s maintenance department at 866-509-2424.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point