Dispose of household hazardous waste the right way

When it’s time for a military family to move, the last things left in the house are usually cleaning supplies needed for last-minute touch-ups before the final housing inspection.

But afterward, these supplies may be  thrown away, poured down the drain or dumped on the ground, becoming an environmental hazard as well as a waste of money and materials.

This can all be avoided if community members take advantage of the Hazardous Material Reuse Center on Panzer Kaserne.

“If people have usable hazardous products, such as cleaning products, paints, batteries or charcoal lighter fluid, they can bring them to us,” said Mike Lansdale, the reuse center manager, adding that such products must  be labeled and in closed containers.

Items dropped off by moving families — such as a bottle of glass cleaner — are made available free of charge to anyone who may need them.

The center, part of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s central receiving point (opposite the Panzer Commissary) also maintains an inventory of hazardous material items available to units and activities located in the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart footprint.

The center’s shelves are laden with printer cartridges; petroleum, oil and lubricant products;  paints and cleaning supplies — all for free.

As units turn in excess hazardous materials, they are put on the shelf and issued to other units for reuse.

“With funds being so short at the moment, this is a win-win for everyone,” Lansdale said.

Last fiscal year the reuse center helped units save $25,000. In the last three months, the reuse center has saved units an additional $7,800.

“It saves money [and] reduces waste,” Lansdale said.

The reuse center also helps to keep goods and materials out of the waste stream and reduces the strain on the environment.

“We’re basically trying to save the world in our small little way,” Lansdale said.

How to dispose of expired hazardous waste

The U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works operates collection points for expired and unusable hazardous wastes on all garrison installations.

Old cell phones can also be disposed of in drop boxes at these sites.

Hazardous wastes should not be left unattended at the collection points. Those needing to dispose of expired hazardous wastes should make an appointment with the USAG Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works Environmental Office at 421-6134/civ. 0711-729-6134 or the operations center at civ. 0162-297-6042.

The Reuse Center is located in Building 2956 on Panzer Kaserne. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 431-2918/civ. 07031-15-2918.

For information on recycling and the U.S. Army Europe Separate or Recycle Trash program, visit www.stuttgart.army.mil and click on the “Environment” icon.