Seattle– The boating community in Seattle and King County will now have a safe place to properly dispose of expired marine flares. Boaters can drop off old flares at local hazardous waste facilities in North Seattle, South Seattle, and the Factoria area of Bellevue. People can bring in up to 10 flares. The new disposal option was developed in conjunction with The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP) in King County.
Most people are unaware that marine flares contain toxic materials. To protect public health, these devices will only be accepted at fixed hazardous waste facilities; and, cannot be dropped off at the mobile Wastemobile services that operate throughout King County. To find nearby hazardous waste facilities that accept marine flares, please visit: http://www.lhwmp.org/home/HHW/disposal-locations.aspx
The U.S. Coast Guard requires visual distress signals, known as marine flares, when boaters are operating on the Great Lakes, High Seas, Territorial Seas and connecting waters seaward of a point where the entrance exceeds 2 nautical miles, with certain exceptions: www.boat.wa.gov.; http://www.uscgboating.org/
Marine flares expire approximately three years after they are manufactured. Once a marine flare is expired it should be disposed of properly. Expired marine flares should not be thrown into the water because they contain the chemical perchlorate which is a pollutant and contaminant that will poison groundwater. Also, flares should not be thrown into the regular household trash, even if they have been soaked in water. Once you soak flares in the water, you have contaminated the water with perchlorate and or nitrates.
The only safe method to dispose of the marine flares is to take them to the North Seattle, South Seattle or Factoria hazardous waste facilities. For more information contact the Household Hazards Line from Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 206-296-4692 or 1-888-TOXICED, or visit www.HazWasteHelp.org
About the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP) works to protect and improve public health and environmental quality in King County. It helps citizens, small businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies to reduce threats caused by the production, use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials. In 2012, the program collected 1,478 tons of hazardous waste.
About Seattle Public Utilities
In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the city’s infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region’s environmental resources.
Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities, at: http://www.seattle.gov/util
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About the Seattle Fire Department
The mission of the Seattle Fire Department is to save lives and protect property through emergency medical service, fire and rescue response and fire prevention. We respond immediately when any member of our community needs help with professional, effective and compassionate service. We strongly believe in community involvement. With 33 fire stations located throughout the city, we have a presence in every neighborhood.
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