More than 1,000 Los Angeles County households on Saturday dropped off a combined 80,000 pounds of electronic and hazardous waste, including computer monitors, motor oil and buckets of paint, at the Burbank Fire Department Training Center, officials said.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., county Department of Public Works employees gathered 20,000 pounds of electronic — also known as "e-waste" — 60,000 pounds of hazardous waste, keeping liquids out of household trash cans that residents dispose of every day.
"When it comes to protecting the environment, individual actions make a big difference," county public works Director Gail Farber said in a statement. "If each of us does our part to properly dispose of unwanted items, we'll prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways."
Once residents drop off the waste, 80% of the hazardous material is recycled, with the remainder disposed of through incineration or other methods, official said. All of the e-waste is recycled.
Automobile fluid, liquid paint products, certain cleaning chemicals, pesticides, expired medications and other hazards to the environment were collected to prevent contamination.
"All of these chemicals could contaminate our water or soil," said Armine Kasablyan of the county Department of Public Works. "They could come back and hurt our environment, our pets and even people."
"Since the event services all the cities in the county, Burbank is a good, active location and that is why it is one of the cities we go to annually," Kasablyan said.
Saturday's collection was part of a program that hosts household hazardous waste and e-waste roundup events several weekends a month. There are six permanent recycling and disposal centers in Los Angeles County, including one at 4600 Colorado Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Explosives, ammunition, radioactive materials, tires, larger appliances and controlled substances were not collected. Residents must go through different departments to dispose of those goods properly, such as the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department or the local fire department.
For more information on which items are accepted at future roundups or the permanent collection centers, call (888) CLEAN-LA or visit http://www.CleanLA.com.
FOR THE RECORD: This version corrects the phone number for Clean L.A.