Arsenic is an element that is widely distributed in the Earth's crust. Elemental arsenic is ordinarily a steel grey metal-like material that occurs naturally. However, arsenic is usually found in the environment combined with other elements such as oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur. Arsenic combined with these elements is called inorganic arsenic. Arsenic combined with carbon and hydrogen is referred to as organic arsenic. Understanding the difference between inorganic and organic arsenic is important because some of the organic forms are less harmful than the inorganic forms.
Presently, about 90% of all arsenic produced is used as a preservative for wood to make it resistant to rotting and decay. Arsenic and its compounds were used as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and various alloys. Arsenic is no longer produced in the United States; all of the arsenic used in the United States is imported.
Arsenic and its compounds are toxic and should be disposed of as hazardous waste. They can be taken to any Household Hazardous Waste collection facility or event; see collection information below.
Free Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
If you are a resident of Clark County or one of its cities, you may dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste products at any of the following HHW collection programs. Business-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted.
Eligible senior and citizens with disabilities who are unable to transport HHW to a collection site or event may call (360) 397-6118 ext. 4352 to see if they qualify for a free home pick up.
Fixed Collection Facilities
- Central Transfer and Recycling Center - Brush Prairie
- Washougal Transfer Station - Washougal
- West Van Materials Recovery Center - Vancouver
Satellite Collection Events