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Planning Your HHW Collection Event: Step 5 - Education & Publicity

Education and publicity should be one of the final planning steps. You will want to have plans and necessary approvals prior to outreach.

Please note: These pages are provided as guidance and are not intended to be used as a substitute for reading and ultimately complying with the HHW Rule (30 TAC 335 Subchapter N ).

Public Outreach: Educating Your Residents

Effective public education outreach should include:

  • Health and environmental impact of improper disposal of HHW; however, be careful to not mislead residents with phrases such as "it is illegal" or "can not be thrown away" when referring to HHW in general (40 CFR 261.4(b) )
  • Ways residents can incorporate substitute products that have less of an impact on the environment
  • Emphasis on reducing the use of hazardous materials or products which may become HHW as the most protective management, then reuse of the material by others, and finally recycling or disposal (30 TAC 335.405(a)(4) )

Publicity: Gaining Community Support

Publicize early and widely to gain support for and participation in the project. Utility-bill inserts and newspaper broadcast ads are good methods for disseminating information. Target schools, churches, and local community groups; students often teach parents, so have materials available for them and be creative!

Again, this is a great time to use community in-kind services! The first phase should be educational, so people will know the project is important. A few weeks before the actual collection day, publicize again. This time, emphasize:

  • when the event will occur
  • where it will take place
  • what can and cannot be accepted at the collection
  • who may participate (for example, only citizens of your city or municipality)

For more information about using the TCEQ logo or other agency logos in your advertising, see Additional Program Guidance on Promotional Materials.

Special topic: Transporting Wastes to a Collection

As part of your outreach, help educate residents on safe practices for handling and transporting materials to a collection event. This will not only help you and your staff accept and segregate materials more efficiently but also help keep both the resident and your workers safer before, during, and after accepting items from the household. Points to include:

  • Whenever possible, bring materials in their original, resealable containers. This helps event staff determine the exact chemical makeup of the substance. All materials must be identified before disposal can occur.
  • Do not mix different products together in one container. Some of them may react violently.
  • If possible, pack containers separately in absorbent material to prevent breaking or leakage.
  • Put materials in your trunk, away from the driver and any passengers.

Additional Resources

The Take Care of Texas program is the TCEQ's public outreach campaign designed to involve all Texans in lifestyle and habit changes that will improve air and water quality, conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and save individuals a little money in the process. Publications designed under the program are available free of charge to cities and organizations upon request. E-mail for more information.