N. Spokane waste transfer station back open after chemical spill, sickened employees okay
COLBERT, Wash. — The North County Transfer Station is back open this morning following a Monday chemical spill that released toxic fumes.
Three employees got sick from the contamination with symptoms ranging from irritated skin to vomiting. All three were transported to local hospitals but released last night before 6:30 p.m.
According to Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. — which conducted an investigation on the scene — a gallon container that contained a pesticide used for spraying trees was in a load of garbage that included additional chemicals. While the waste was being compacted, the container burst and released a toxic cloud.
While no one was seriously injured, Spokane County says it’s a good reminder that household hazardous wastes should NEVER be thrown away with garbage or recyclables.
According to the county’s website, the following household hazardous materials are accepted at the North County Transfer Station (only on Saturdays and Sundays):
Automotive products (oil, antifreeze, gasoline, etc)
CFL and fluorescent light bulbs
Acrylic, oil or lead based paints
Propane tanks (5lbs or smaller)
Thermostats or thermometers that contain mercury
Small arms ammunition (no explosives)
Household Hazardous Waste are any products that may be labeled “danger”, “warning”, or “caution”.
Maximum container size of 5 gallons accepted. Use original container with label when possible.
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