It’s almost time to clean out the garage and get rid of hazardous materials ranging from old paint to old pesticides.

On April 1, the first household hazardous waste collection of the year in Eastern Jackson County is set for Independence. It’s from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and those taking items will be set up in the large parking lot, just off the Square, bounded by Walnut, Osage, Kansas and Liberty.

The items are taken for free. They are things that not supposed to go with the regular trash because chemicals in them are corrosive or poisonous, or can explode or easily burn. The Mid-America Regional Council says those include paint, paint strippers, varnishes, adhesives and glues, hobby supplies, batteries, motor oil, compact fluorescent light bulbs, antifreeze, lawn and garden chemicals, and pesticides. The event is open to individuals, not businesses.

Another collection is set for 8 a.m. to noon April 22 at Pink Hill Park in Blue Springs. Grain Valley’s event is Oct. 7. The full list for collection events across the area is at www.recyclespot.org.

You don’t have to be an Independence resident to take part in the April 1 event. MARC opens these events to any residents of participating cities, and those include Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Independence, Kansas City, Lake Lotawana, Lake Tapawingo, Lee’s Summit and Sugar Creek, along with most other Missouri-side metro cities.

There also are permanent household hazardous waste collection sites, at 4707 Deramus in the East Bottoms in Kansas City (816-513-8400) and in 2101 S.E. Hamblen Road in Lee’s Summit (816-623-3066). Bring an ID to prove your city of residency.