Summer is here! For many of us, summertime means camping at one of the countless magical spots here in Colorado. For others, this is the time to finally get some projects done around the house while also keeping that yard looking good. However, did you know that both activities create a unique waste item that must be disposed of properly at Boulder County’s Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF)?
Camping Propane Cylinders
One of the most prevalent items used during car camping is the small, one-pound propane cylinders for use on most camp stoves. Unfortunately, these small tanks are single-use, and therefore must be disposed of when empty. However, they cannot be placed in the trash or your recycling at home and should be taken to a facility such as the HMMF. At the HMMF, the empty cylinders are vented and punctured by staff, then clearly marked before metal recyclers will accept them as scrap metal for recycling.
However, there is now an option to both eliminate this waste and save money. Available for purchase from the HMMF are reusable, one-pound Flame King cylinders. Flame King now makes a kit that allows people to refill their one-pound Flame King cylinders using your own larger BBQ-style propane tank. These kits are on sale now for $31 at the HMMF and offer a great opportunity for convenience and to reduce the waste we generate while camping. There are also a few retailers such as Jax or REI that are now selling the refillable one-pound cylinders. At this time, Coleman propane cylinders are not refillable.
Lithium Ion Batteries
Many of the power tools we use around our homes are now powered by lithium-ion batteries. These rechargeable batteries are more powerful than previous generations of rechargeable batteries, and this has led to a surge in popularity of these battery-powered tools. These tools include drills and saws as well as yard tools ranging from weed whips to even lawnmowers. While these battery-powered tools are convenient, the batteries powering them need proper disposal for both environmental and safety reasons.
On the environmental side, many of the battery components and chemicals can be recycled for use in new batteries when properly disposed of. Regarding safety, there have been numerous fires at recycling facilities in the past few years that can be attributed to lithium-ion batteries — which are notorious for combusting. There were 289 reported facility fires across the United States in 2017 (not to mention fires that were not reported), many of which were likely caused by batteries.
For these reasons, it is important to dispose of these batteries properly at a facility such as Boulder County’s HMMF. At this facility, the batteries are safely handled and sent to recycling facilities. Remember, these batteries should never be placed in your household trash or recycling.
The HMMF is located at 1901c 63rd St. and the hours of operation are Wednesday-Saturday, 8:30 am-4 pm. For more information call 720-564-2251.