My name is Lothar Rueckert. I am the Chief Engineer for the Environmental Division and I am a long-time resident of Schweinfurt. Having worked for USAG Schweinfurt as an environmental engineer for almost 27 years I believe that everyone is responsible for the environment.
Looking underneath your sink or in your cleaning closet you will most likely find items that are considered hazardous materials. Hazardous materials can be any type of material that poses a risk to health, safety or the environment. These materials are often flammable, corrosive, oxidizing, explosive or toxic.
This can include:
- Cleaning agents
- Paints and lacquers
- Fuels and oils
- Solvents and thinners
So you may be asking, “Well I use those items regularly, how do I not get stuck with them before we move?”
The best way to prevent being stuck with tons of hazardous waste in the end is to plan ahead.
If you know that you are going to be leaving soon, don’t buy the 12 gallon bottle of bleach even though it may be cheaper. Only buy what you need and buy environmentally friendly products.
Another good practice is to just evaluate the hazardous materials that you already have on hand. If you keep your work and storage areas in good housekeeping then you should know what hazardous materials you will need to get rid of and can manage your inventory so that there is little hazardous waste.
Keeping inventory of the hazardous materials is great when you know where they are, but often times they are stored in out-of-the-way places so that children and animals don’t get into them. Find all hiding spaces that may contain hazardous materials and you will be better prepared when the time comes for a close out inspection.
When units close up shop and family members move with them, the unused hazardous materials need to be properly disposed of in order to cause as little damage as possible to the environment.
So now you may be asking, “Hey Lothar, where do I go to get rid of my hazardous materials?”
Well that is easy, all the recycling centers on post collect household hazardous waste. There you can also dispose of your household or vehicle batteries, ink cartridges and cell phones and your regular recyclables.
Don’t panic, I didn’t forget about the troops moving out who are looking to dispose of their hazardous materials. Units candiscard hazardous materials at their hazardous waste accumulation points (HWAPS) or bring them to the Hazardous Waste Storage Area. Another option to get rid of unused or expired hazardous materials is to drop them off at the Hazardous Material Reuse Center. Not only is it a drop off location, but other units can get a list of the items that are on hand and use them as well.
If you are unsure about what materials would be considered hazardous and need a second opinion feel free to call us up for a courtesy walk through inspection. We would be more than happy to talk to you about how to properly dispose of the hazardous waste, all you need to do is call DSN 354-6795, CIV 09721-96-6795.