Ottumwa Hazardous Waste Center now open for the season

Ottumwa's Hazardous Waste collection center is now open.

If your spring cleaning has resulted in some hazardous household waste products in your home, the Ottumwa Hazardous Waste collection center is now open.

The Hazardous Waste center opens in the spring each year, once the last frost has hopefully passed. The center serves Wapello, Davis and Mahaska counties and accepts products like gasoline, solvents, paints, cleaners and pesticides that could do extraordinary damage if not disposed of properly.

"If you pour them on the ground, you could wind up drinking them because the majority of Iowa's drinking water comes from groundwater, so eventually it filters down through and gets into our drinking water," said Janice Bain, Coordinator at the Ottumwa Recycling Facility. "The same with if you landfill them, the water could eventually get down into the water table - the water from the runoff from those products. Landfills are lined, but eventually, that could get down through the liner and into the water table."

Bain said anyone wishing to dispose of hazardous waste should first make a list of all the products in their home, then call the recycling center at 641-683-0685 to make an appointment. Waste can be dropped off by appointment only, because there is not always staff on duty.

The hazardous waste building will be open until October or so, when the weather turns to overnight freezes.

For a list of more materials accepted at the center, click here.