The City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a household hazardous waste plan that emphasizes educating residents on how to dispose of the materials.
Disposal of household hazardous wastes, such as paints, motor oils, pesticides and aerosol cans, is often a problem because many residents are unaware of the danger of dumping hazardous products with common garbage, according to a city report.
The report estimates that the average household generates 7.5 pounds of household hazardous waste per year, and in Buena Park 865 tons of household hazardous waste could be diverted from landfills.
Residents must be informed that when hazardous materials are mixed with household trash, which is taken to landfills, the toxic wastes could contaminate the soil and underground water supplies, the report said.
Rather than establishing its own hazardous waste drop-off center, which would be costly for a city the size of Buena Park, the city will use county facilities and start an educational campaign to inform residents of the need for participation.
"It's nice to know the service is provided through the county," said Don Kemp, director of public works.
Cities indirectly pay for the county sites--one in Anaheim and others planned for Huntington Beach and Stanton--through fees paid to dump trash at county landfills. The county also offers periodic "roundups" in which residents can drop off materials at temporary collection sites.
Buena Park officials will begin printing brochures noting waste drop-off sites. The literature will also encourage residents to keep track of hazardous goods stored in garages, closets and sheds.
Other educational campaigns, such as talks in schools, advertisements and public workshops, may also be offered.
The hazardous waste plan was mandated by state legislation requiring all cities to reduce the amount of trash going to landfills by 25% by 1995, and 50% by 2000.