random brain dribbles of a nurse, novelist, and ninja enthusiast

Hazardous Waste Of Time

You’re probably wondering what I have been up to in the month since we last cyber talked. Well, mostly I’ve been shredding documents and ridding myself of gallons of hazardous waste found at our parents estate. I’d like to say this process has been easy, but when you have two parents who’ve held onto everything for the six plus decades of their lives nothing is simple. For example, after spending several hours going through one stack of sensitive documents we had to purchase an industrial shredder just to dispose of the recyclable products over the course of one weeks worth of continuous work.

Industrial shredders rule!

Industrial shredders rule!

My parents were organized hoarders and along with a 3400 square foot home packed solid with items found around the world they have also kept every available medical document either of them have had since birth. They had taxes from the sixties, old high school report cards, and junior high papers from the early fifties and all of these have combined into a mountain of recyclable waste in need of shredding. The picture below of ten extra large size garbage bags filled with shredded documents is less than half of what was ultimately shredded.

If you ever wondered what 1099s looked like in the sixties feel free to rummage through one of these bags.

If you ever wondered what 1099s looked like in the sixties feel free to rummage through any of these bags.

Moving along to hazardous waste….

waste 2

When it comes to hazardous waste there is a right way.



And a wrong way!



Despite this clear knowledge and an overwhelming amount of public service announcements from environmentally conscious super heroes this whole process will suck for you.


Despite what Captain Planet may have told you disposing of hazardous waste can be a frustrating endeavor. Considering how rarely I have had to wait in line at these places most of you are probably just dumping your waste into the trash or a local water stream. Unless you can fly your waste into space like the guy pictured above expect days or months worth of time on waste disposal.

Depending on your county there could be as many as six different locations to dispose of your hazardous waste. Mercury waste goes to one location, petroleum waste to another, electronics are placed in yet another location, etc, etc, etc. Thankfully, the county has decided to make this easy for you by placing them all in three separate locations which have limits on how many individual items they can take and each of these locations is only open once or twice a month (hopefully, you detect my sarcasm). Medical waste is a whole other nightmare all together.

Medical waste within King County for controlled substances like narcotics is only available at select police stations when they have bins open to the public and only for the specific county in which the waste is located. In other words, if you happen to miss the disposal time for your county then you could end up waiting for several months before the next opportunity to dispose of it. In the meantime, you will have several large bags of expired schedule 2 controlled narcotics just lounging around your house.

Hey druggies, party at my place!

Hey druggies, party at my place!

Thankfully, we have kitty litter!

New ultra absorbent non-clumping formula perfect for medical waste!

This stuff is amazing. After many rounds of phone calls it was brought to my attention that not only would it dry up and allow me to dispose of my latex paints, but also all of my medical waste!

Warning: the above statement only supported by one random operator working within King County who clearly does not specialize in medical waste.

Thanks to years of anecdotal evidence working with druggies in our hospital who hide them in their piss soaked diapers, I can assure you that any druggy worth his weight in heroin grams will dive right into that pile of litter and lap up every ounce. Still, I’m sure dumps all across the country have hygienic free basing cats who are getting real high off your litter right about now. Now I just need to figure out how to dispose of the rest of this crap.

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