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Monroe County announces new initiative to safely dispose of vaping devices 

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Racquel Stephen
Monroe County Department of Environmental Services partnered with waste removal company Clean Harbor for a new initiative designed to dispose of vaping devices.

Monroe County’s Department of Environmental Services is partnering with Clean Harbors, a waste disposal and recycling company, to set up a disposal site for vaping devices and vape juice.

The county’s ecopark facility will accept these products from residents and school districts to be safely discarded by professionals.

“Vaping is not only an issue of public health, it's also a safety and environmental issue,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. He said many of the vaping devices contain nicotine and lithium batteries, which have been linked to explosions and fires.

“These devices should never be thrown in the trash, and they should never make their way to the sewer system,” Bello said.

Vaping has also become popular among middle and high school age children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among adolescents.

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Racquel Stephen
A collection of vaping devices on display at briefing to announce new disposal initiative.

“Vaping is an epidemic among school students across the region and results in large amounts of confiscated paraphernalia,” said Casey Kosiorek, Monroe County council of school superintendents' president. Kosiorek added that vape products are found on playgrounds and fields, and not always disposed of appropriately.

“This new service gives us an opportunity to make sure that they are put away so no one else can use them,” he said.

Vape pens, e-cigarettes and e-liquids should be handled with nitril or latex gloves and delivered to the ecopark site, 10 Avion Drive, in a leak-proof container.

The ecopark is open on Wednesdays 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Most people don’t recycle. Experts say this is because governments don’t make recycling easy. A county official said they will explore more convenient options after reviewing demand.

Look up hours of operation and other information on ecopark on the Monroe County website.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.