MEXICO — The River Valley area will hold their annual Household Hazardous Waste collection event from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 7.

All those household chemicals that have been sitting under kitchen sinks or in basements and garages for many years can be brought to the event at the Region 9 parking lot on Route 2 in Mexico.

Residents from participating towns Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Peru, Hanover, Andover, Roxbury and Byron can dispose of their household hazardous wastes at no cost for up to 25 gallons.

The event is co-sponsored by the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition and is part of the ongoing Western Maine Environmental Depot Collection Program run by AVCOG and a private, qualified contractor.

Barb Fortier, environmental planner at AVCOG, noted, “Hazardous substances such as oil-based paints, pesticides and old gasoline can cause significant environmental, health and safety problems if not properly disposed or even if left around the house. Cans can leak, labels can disintegrate and materials end up being used improperly. And, many of the materials can create a hazard for curious children.”

At this time latex paint is not accepted, but under a new law, the paint manufacturers will be setting up a program to finance the collection and recycling or disposal of paint by 2015. Until then, latex paint should be dried out and put in the regular trash. Oil-based paints, stains and varnishes are accepted at HHW collections.

Residents may also bring their hazardous waste to the Environmental Depot, the permanent facility at the Lewiston Solid Waste Facility, 424 River Road. It is open from 8 a.m. to noon the first and third Saturdays of each month, except for three-day holiday weekends, May through November.

Other one-day collections in the Western Maine area will be held in the fall. Residents of towns participating in the Environmental Depot HHW collection program can use the Depot or any collection event in their region at no cost. Participating municipalities include most of the towns in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties. Residents from other communities can bring waste to the Depot at a cost of $28.50 for up to five gallons.

For a list of participating communities or for more information, visit (Household Hazardous Waste under Municipal Services), call 783-9186 or check with your town office.

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