Household Hazardous Waste
Material Collection and Management
Bannock County Landfill collects Household Hazardous Waste during the months of April through October on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. See Event Dates. County residents can bring their waste to the landfill’s household hazardous waste building for drop-off (or they will be directed by employees who remove the waste from the vehicles).
Once the waste is removed from vehicles, it is separated into 50 gallon drums or stacked in the containment building if it is reusable. The antifreeze, oil, and vehicle batteries are sold to a local company to be recycled or reused, and remaining materials are either properly disposed of as hazardous waste or recycled. The county contracts with a hazardous waste company to dispose of the unusable materials. View our Disposal Policies
The following materials are currently being diverted (items that cannot be recycled or reused and are safely disposed of through a hazardous waste contractor):
- Household cleaners
- Laundry products
- Old gasoline Batteries
- Fluorescent light tubes Oil-based and latex paints
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Mercury thermostats
- Paint thinners
- Mercury thermometers
- Wood stains
- All electronics (collection available year around)
Bannock County began diverting household hazardous waste (HHW) from the landfill in 1992. Prior to Bannock County's ownership, the aquifer was contaminated in the old landfill. To date, Bannock County has spent $3 million in an effort to clean up this contamination by using an air stripper that uses wells to pull water from the aquifer. The air stripper cleans the water and then circulates it into an injector well which then re-enters the aquifer.
The Hazardous Waste program started out as a cooperative effort between Bannock County and the Cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck to eliminate household quantities of hazardous waste from being disposed of in the landfill. It ran from 1992 to 1994 as a one-day event held each year in a parking lot at the City of Pocatello's Sanitation Department. The hazardous waste collected was transported to an outside contractor.
Initially, the county and both cities supplied employees that were being paid overtime to staff the event. The total cost of the event was divided equally between the three partners ($43,900 in 1992; $37,917 in 1993; and $40,748 in 1994). The challenges that the partnership faced included finding a good place to hold the event and finding chemists to volunteer to help to sort the wastes received. Luckily, the county found several trained volunteers from the Idaho National Laboratory and the local fire department. During the first event, over 500 people from the community brought in waste.
Existing Program Overview
In 1995, the partnership between the county and the cities ended because Bannock County was able to manage HHW at the new larger landfill. However, before the county could manage the program independently, several things needed to be accomplished, including training additional solid waste personnel and building a reuse area for HHW that could be reused by the community or the county. Therefore, the county landfill personnel attended a 40-hour hazardous material training and positioned existing 30-yard containers at the landfill to sort incoming waste. The county also built a containment building to store the 55 gallon drums of HHW until they were picked up by the contractor.
Staffing and Training
The county uses local inmates to help remove materials from residents' vehicles. This program began because of a need for additional manpower. The inmates are only allowed to take the hazardous waste out of customer vehicles; trained county employees are responsible for sorting. County employees are required to complete 40 hours of hazardous materials training prior to handling the waste and attend an 8-hour refresher course yearly.