Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) that ends up in landfills can cause groundwater pollution. If improperly handled and disposed of, these materials can pose a threat to the public’s health and safety. Under The Sink is a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility open to the residents of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Under The Sink is open to the public four days per week and costs nothing to use.
Under The Sink benefits everyone in the community by avoiding the illicit disposal of HHW down a drain, storm sewer, on the ground or in the landfill. Improper disposal is not only harmful to the environment, but is also costly to remediate. Under The Sink is a community resource as a distribution point for recycling bins used in Omaha’s curbside recycling program. In 2013, 2,350 recycling bins were distributed to citizens at the facility. This provided a valuable tool to allow us to also distribute brochures and information about HHW and the benefits of using the facility.
How much HHW has been received?
Since it opened in 2005, Under The Sink has experienced growth each year. In 2014, Under The Sink received 954,026 pounds of HHW. This is up from 675,063 pounds received in 2006, the first full year of operation. To date, Under The Sink has diverted 7,400,827 pounds from storage or improper disposal.
What other things does Under The Sink do?
Under The Sink also educates citizens about ways to harvest rainwater, and construct rain gardens. In 2013, Under The Sink was also a distribution point for rain barrel kits, and plans are to continue the project in 2014, and beyond if possible. The surrounding grounds at Under The Sink incorporate a series of 14 rain gardens, multiple bioswales, dry streambeds, and a level spreader to assist in stormwater diversion and retention. There are also interpretive signs mounted at various locations that describe their construction, purpose, and benefits.
Brochures are available onsite, as well as online for the public to learn about these various types of water conservation practices that can be applied to their home property as well. The importance of storm drain awareness is also stressed with the availability of brochures that inform the public how easily they can become polluted and how that affects the environment, wildlife, and ground water supply.
Project Fact Sheet
For more information check out the Under the Sink Project Fact Sheet.