A household hazardous waste collection event was forced to shut down early on Saturday, September 2nd, when a resident brought material for collection without realizing it was explosive. The event, hosted by the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), was held at the Highway Garage in Jericho.
Upon identifying the material as diethyl ether – a shock-sensitive explosive chemical – the staff at the Rover, CSWD’s mobile collection unit for household hazardous waste, immediately initiated the emergency response plan. The fire department was dispatched and they evacuated the event. The chemicals were moved to a secure location until they are able to be detonated safely.
“The safety of our customers and staff is always our number one concern,” said Jennifer Holliday, CSWD’s Compliance Program and Product Stewardship Manager. “While we regret that some customers were unable to take advantage of the Rover’s annual stop in Jericho, we are proud of our staff members who acted quickly to protect the public. They performed exactly as they have been trained to do.”
Explosive materials are not accepted at any CSWD facilities. Anyone needing to dispose of explosives should contact the Vermont State Police Bomb Squad at (802) 878-7111.
Residents unable to attend the Jericho event are encouraged to bring their household hazardous waste to the Rover at the CSWD Drop-Off Center in Richmond on Saturday, September 9th, from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., or to the Environmental Depot, CSWD’s year-round hazardous waste collection and processing facility in South Burlington.
The Environmental Depot is located at 1011 Airport Parkway in South Burlington. The facility is open for residential drop-off of household hazardous waste Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Businesses must call (802) 865-4663 to make an appointment. Last year, the Depot collected over 651,723 pounds of hazardous waste.