In order to conserve landfill space, promote recycling and reduce the chance of environmental contamination, several items have been banned from landfills. These items include major appliances, whole tires, oil and lead-acid batteries. The Solid Waste Disposal law requires changes in the way we dispose of waste. It is an opportunity for all Missourians to unite at the grass roots level to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.
Major Appliance Disposal
Major appliances banned from landfills include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, trash compactors, water heaters and other white goods. Note: Previously, microwaves were listed as a major appliance and were banned from landfills.
However, in 2002, the law was specifically changed to remove microwaves from the list of major appliances and white goods. While the department encourages consumers to make every effort to recycle microwave ovens, they can be disposed of in sanitary landfills.
The first step in disposing of a major appliance, or any product, should be taken when you buy the product. When buying a refrigerator or other appliance, ask the retailer if the store or the distributor will take it back when its life span ends. Ask if they will take your old appliance, too. This gets consumers and manufacturers to consider disposing of the product before it becomes a problem and encourages manufacturers to begin recycling.
If the appliance still works, consider selling it or donating it to a charitable organization such as the Salvation Army, otherwise, contact the scrap metal collection centers or other recycling centers in your area and ask if they take major appliances. Some landfill operations also have storage areas for major appliances and charge a small fee for accepting them.
Scrap Tire Disposal
When you buy new tires, Missouri retailers are required to take the tires you are replacing. They usually charge a fee to cover their handling costs. If you are not buying new tires, another arrangement will have to be made for proper disposal.
In some areas, scrap tire storage sites accept waste tires. For more information about where to bring scrap tires in your area, contact local tire dealers. Retailers and storage sites accepting scrap tires may charge a fee to cover disposal costs.
Waste Oil Disposal
Waste oil including lubricating oil, transmission oil, transformer oil, hydraulic oil and fuel oil can no longer go to landfills.
If a service station or quick change business changes your oil, they will dispose of your oil and oil filter for you. If you change your own oil, ask retailers where you buy oil if they will take your old oil. Some retailers, services stations and quick change businesses accept oil even if you do not make a purchase.
Oil filters are not prohibited from landfills if they have been well drained. To do this, turn the filter upside down and let it drain into a pan or jug for at least 24 hours. Oil drained from the filter should be collected and recycled to prevent groundwater contamination.
For more information about where to bring waste oil, contact the retailer where you purchase oil.
Lead-acid Battery Disposal
Retailers are required by law to accept a used lead-acid battery in exchange for a newly purchased battery. Lead acid batteries, those used in cars, boats and other vehicles, contain sulfuric acid that reacts with lead and lead oxide to generate electricity. If you want to get rid of a battery without buying a new one, ask a retailer near you if they will accept it.
To find locations to recycle your white goods, used oil or lead acid batteries in your area, contact your solid waste management district.