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New rules for tossing old goods

The Union staff

Beginning Thursday, Nevada County residents need to be aware of a new list of hazardous items that can not be thrown in the garbage and will need to be handled separately at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station.

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) identified the materials listed below as hazardous waste several years ago, but households and small businesses were excluded from complying with the regulation to keep them out of the trash until now. February 9 marks the date after which disposing them in the trash is illegal.

The state refers to the list as “Universal Waste” or “U-Waste” and defines it as electronics (VCRs, cell phones, radios), batteries, mercury thermostats, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other products containing mercury or other heavy metals. “These materials can endanger public health and harm the environment when improperly disposed,” said DTSC Director Maureen Gorsen. “Our goal is encourage Californians to recycle or properly dispose fluorescent lamps, batteries, thermostats and electronic devices.”

Nevada County Recycles, a program of the Department of Transportation and Sanitation, has allocated space at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station for receiving these items separately from the garbage beginning Thursday.

“We are happy to be able to provide a service to minimize the exposure to residents,” said Nevada County Recycling Coordinator Tracey Harper. “Because most Nevada County residents have strong feelings for the area, we hope people comply with this ban voluntarily.”

For more information about this program, visit http://www.NevadaCounty Recycles.com or call the Recycling Hotline at 265-1768.

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