Independence residents can get rid of old paint, pesticides and other household hazardous waste at a free event this Saturday on the Square.

It’s from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the large parking lot bounded by Liberty, Walnut, Osage and Kansas. Proof of residency is required, so bring a city utility bill, a driver’s license or other ID showing you live in the city.

Allow plenty of time, as historically the event draws well and vehicles line up. Last year there were more than 400. Volunteers will help unload vehicles. The city says vehicle traffic only – no walkups.

Here are the items that can be dropped off: batteries; paint and paint products (including aerosol cans), varnish, stripper, thinner/turpentine; fluorescent light bulbs; garden and yard products (herbicides, pesticides, sprays, rat poison, weed killers); automotive fluids such as antifreeze and used motor oil; household cleaners; kerosene; mercury thermometers; and unused and unwanted medicines.

Bring material in its original container if possible. Secure lids. Don’t mix different or unknown substances. If a container is leaking, wrap it in plastic and pack it in a larger container with absorbent material, such as cat litter.

Also, Independence police will take and dispose of old or unwanted ammunition, explosives, firearms and fireworks.

Some items will not be accepted: electronics, appliances, trash, yard waste, medical waste, tires, asbestos, radioactive waste, pressurized gas cylinders or commercial waste. Also, the city says, containers with gasoline or a mixture of any products cannot be returned. Containers with used oil or antifreeze can be returned if requested.

Questions? Call the Water Pollution Control Department at 816-325-7440 or visit

Cities and Jackson County work with the Mid-America Regional Council to hold one household hazardous waste event per year per community. In 20 years, the city says, Independence residents have disposed of 641 tons of hazardous waste.

The next event in the region is in Blue Springs. It’s from 8 a.m. to noon April 28 at Pink Hill Park, 2715 N.W. Park Drive. The Grain Valley event is Oct. 20 at the Jackson County Public Works facility at 34900 E. Old U.S. 40.