Area residents can prevent fires, injury and waterway contamination with proper fireworks disposal

Area residents can prevent fires, injury and waterway contamination with proper fireworks disposal
File photo.

Improper disposal of fireworks puts waste and recycling workers at increased risk of injury from fires in their trucks and at transfer stations

VANCOUVER – Clark County residents can help prevent fires, injuries and pollution by properly disposing of fireworks after their Fourth of July celebrations. 

Improper disposal of fireworks puts waste and recycling workers at increased risk of injury from fires in their trucks and at transfer stations. And fireworks debris, if not properly cleaned up, can be washed into storm drains that lead to streams, rivers and lakes. Fireworks contain heavy metals and other chemicals that can harm fish and wildlife. To prevent waterway contamination, residents should sweep up and dispose of fireworks debris as soon as possible and avoid using fireworks near waterways. 

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.

Tips for proper disposal of used fireworks:

  • Do not place any fireworks or any part of fireworks in your recycling cart. 
  • All used fireworks should be treated as garbage and disposed of as follows:
    • Put used fireworks in a bucket of water overnight. Remove them from the water and put them in a garbage bag and into your garbage can. 
    • Dump the water onto grass, dirt or other landscape where it won’t flow into a storm drain or waterway. Do not pour onto pavement or into the street.

Tips for proper disposal of unused fireworks:

  • Do not put unused fireworks in your garbage or recycling carts; they are explosives and can cause serious harm to workers and the environment.
  • Do not take them to the transfer stations; workers cannot accept explosives.
  • Do take unused legal fireworks to one of these designated drop-off sites between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, except holidays. Appointments may be required. Fireworks must be given directly to personnel, not left in a lobby or outside unattended. Check in with office staff prior to bringing fireworks into the building.
    • 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

Do not attempt to move or transport homemade explosive devices or altered fireworks for disposal. They will not be accepted at the above locations. Call 9-1-1 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.

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. For more information about fireworks regulations and tips for celebrating safely, visit the Clark County fireworks webpage

To file a fireworks nuisance complaint, call 360.597.7888. The call center, which is operated by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, will be available 8 pm to 1 am July 2-4. Please do not call 9-1-1 or 3-1-1 to report fireworks violations.

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.


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