VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — If you’re celebrating Fourth of July in Clark County, there’s a way for residents to dispose fireworks to prevent fires or injury.
According to the county, improper disposal of fireworks puts waste and recycling workers at increased risk of injury from fires in their trucks or transfer stations. Fireworks debris can also be washed into storm drains that lead to streams, rivers and lakes – if not property disposed of.
In addition, fireworks contain heavy metals and other chemicals that can harm wildlife and fish.
“To prevent waterway contamination, residents should sweep up and dispose of fireworks debris as soon as possible and avoid using fireworks near waterways,” Clark County said in an announcement. “Failing to clean up fireworks residue is littering, a violation of Washington law and Clark County ordinance. Clark County Public Works does not provide additional street sweeping after the Fourth of July.”
The county suggests not placing fireworks or any part of fireworks in your recycling cart. Fireworks should be put in a bucket of water overnight and later put in a garbage bag and then a garbage can.
Once the fireworks are thrown away, the water should be dumped onto grass, dirt or other landscape where it won’t go into a storm drain or waterway.
However, the county says to not pour the water onto pavement or into the street.
“Do not put unused fireworks in your garbage or recycling carts; they are explosives and can cause serious harm to workers and the environment,” the announcement added. “Do not take them to the transfer stations; workers cannot accept explosives.”
People can take their unused legal fireworks to designated drop-off sites between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays. Appointments may be required, added the county.
The press release noted that fireworks must be given directly to personnel, not left in a lobby or outside unattended. According to the county, you should check in with office staff prior to bringing fireworks into the building.
Here is a list of drop-off sites:
Clark County Public Safety Complex, 505 NW 179th St., Ridgefield. 564.397.2186. By appointment only.
Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal’s Office, 605 NE Third Ave., Camas. 360.834.6191. By appointment only.
Vancouver Police Department, 360.487.7500.
East Precinct – 520 SE 155th Ave.
West Precinct – 2800 NE Stapleton Road
People are advised to not attempt to move or transport homemade explosive devices or altered fireworks for disposal. They will not be accepted at the above locations.
You can call 911 and report them for removal.
“If a firework fails to ignite, an adult should approach it carefully after at least 15 minutes and place it in a bucket of water. After soaking overnight, remove it from the water and treat it as an unused firework,” the announcement said. “Residents should use fireworks only during legal discharge times, which vary across the county. It is illegal to discharge any fireworks in the city of Vancouver.”
People can visit here for more information about fireworks regulations and other information.
To file a fireworks nuisance complaint, you call 360-597-7888. The call center, which is operated by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, will be available from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. July 2 through July 4. Please do not call 911 or 311 to report fireworks violations, the county asks.