Did you do any spring cleaning? Wondering what to do with that old motor oil, busted car battery or half-used containers of brake fluid, turpentine, muratic acid or other hazardous waste? There is an answer.

Residents of Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties who have household hazardous waste materials, like car batteries, CFL light bulbs, used oil or antifreeze or other toxic, poisonous or flammable products, can dispose of them free of charge, year round, at satellite Household Hazardous Waste facilities in Rolla and St. Robert.

The Rolla facility is located at the Rolla Recycling Center, 2141 Old St. James Road in Rolla. The St. Robert facility is located at the St. Robert Transfer Station, located on J.H. Williamson Drive.

While the service is free, an appointment is necessary to drop-off materials at either location. 

Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD), in partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), provided funding to the two cities to establish the facilities and dispose collected materials. Solid waste department employees in St. Robert and Rolla have been trained in accepting waste and proper storage. The Rolla facility opened in January 2008, and the St. Robert facility opened in February 2008. ORSWMD and MDNR continue to cover disposal costs, while the cities pay for staff time and employee training.

“The use of our HHW facility seems to be increasing as awareness increases and as the population, as a whole, learns about the negative impact years of improper disposal have had on our natural environment,” said Brady Wilson, environmental services director for the City of Rolla and operator of the Rolla facility.

The facilities are designed to serve residential customers only, explained Tammy Snodgrass, administrator of the solid waste district and environmental programs manager for Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC). Business and commercial waste is prohibited. depending on which facility the person wishes to visit.

The Rolla number is 573-364-6693. The St. Robert number is 573-336-5155. When you call, please be prepared to describe the types of materials and quantity of each that you wish to drop off so that staff can make arrangements to receive and properly store the materials at the facility.

“Deliveries will be accepted by appointment only, so please make sure you call and arrange an appointment before driving to Rolla or St. Robert,” Snodgrass stressed.

A substance is considered hazardous when it contains ingredients or a combination of ingredients that can be harmful to the environment and/or human health, explained Snodgrass. HHW products may ignite easily, react or explode when mixed with other substances, or may be corrosive, toxic or poisonous. Each facility has established limits on the number of gallons of liquids that a household can drop off in a visit. For a complete list of items accepted for drop off at the facility, please contact the facility or go to the respective city websites at www.rollacity.org/waste or www.saintrobert.com and look for the link titled “Trash and Recycling.”

“We have offered one-day HHW collections across the region for many years, and they are very costly because the contractor must travel a long distance and never knows what will be brought in that day,” Snodgrass said. “After some research, we found this option that provided year-round, on-site storage at a cost comparable to the one-day collections.

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district's strategy for reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities. Ozark Rivers contracts with MRPC to provide day-to-day operations and oversee special projects on behalf of the district.