It’s that time of year again – time for the Eau Claire & Chippewa “Clean Sweep” events!

We love helping you haul off your junk. Whether it’s old TVs, yards full of construction debris, or even whole-house cleanouts, we’ve seen (and hauled!) it all.

But one category that it’s hard for us to deal with sometimes is the stuff that’s known as “hazardous waste”. Old fluorescent light bulbs, car batteries, paint, and a lot of the other misc. “handyman” type chemicals that tend to accumulate under sinks and in garages is considered “hazardous waste”.

Even though these items are small enough that they’d fit in your garbage can just fine, most of these items can’t legally be put in your regular trash can. There are chemicals and such in them that makes them dangerous to dispose of improperly, and improper disposal can also cause damage to our environment. And that means you usually need to pay to get rid of them. 

That’s why Eau Claire & Chippewa counties host “clean sweep” events – usually in the spring and in the fall. Most of these hazardous items will be accepted for free at these events, with some carrying a nominal disposal cost.

What all will they take?

Eau Claire’s list includes:

  • Oil based Paint (NOT in glass)
  • Latex Paint (NOT in glass)
  • Aerosols
  • Batteries
  • Lightbulbs
  • Wood stain
  • Gas, Oil
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Carburetor and brake cleaners
  • Mineral spirits
  • Antifreeze

Chippewa Falls’ list includes:

  • Oil/solvent-based paints
  • Antifreeze
  • Solvents
  • Wood preservatives
  • Waste motor oil & filters
  • Fuel mixtures / kerosene / fuel oil
  • Paint strippers & thinners
  • Stains & varnish
  • Mercury & other heavy metals
  • Lead acid & household batteries
  • Heavy metal paints
  • Corrosives
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Aerosol cans
  • 1 & 20 lb propane cylinders

We strongly encourage everybody reading this to take advantage of this opportunity. Check under your sinks. On that shelf in the garage. Go through your junk drawer. The odds are that you have this stuff in your house, and this is your chance to get rid of it in a way that protects and preserves our environment.

Complete details for the Eau Claire event on May 21st are available here, and details for the Chippewa Falls event on April 24th are available here. Please check against the lists on those websites to ensure that your hazardous waste is eligible. Also note that you have to be a resident of the county hosting the Clean Sweep to be eligible, and they may check ID – so be prepared. You’ll want to get there early, because the line is long!

And if you’re going through the basement and garage and discover that you have a huge pile of non-hazardous waste that you wish you could sweep away, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call our local junk removal pros. We’ll show up and give your home a “clean sweep” of its own!

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