On April 30, a canister containing the remains of a common pesticide that is used to spray fruit trees was delivered in a load of garbage at the North County Transfer Station.
When the garbage was compressed on the tipping floor, the container ruptured, mixed with another hazardous household chemical and released a toxic cloud.
Three employees displayed symptoms ranging from skin irritation to vomiting. All three were taken to local hospitals for observation and later released to go home. The transfer station was closed until cleared by Fire District 4 and Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc.
The Environmental Services Department and the Regional Solid Waste System thank Waste Connections, Fire District 4 and Clean Harbors for their quick response, and Deaconess and Sacred Heart Medical Centers for their conscientious care of employees.
While the investigation is underway, this is a good reminder that household hazardous wastes should not be thrown away with garbage or recyclables.
For more information, go to spokanecounty.org/2632/Household-Hazardous-Waste or call 477-6800.