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Gallatin City-County Health Department Collaborates with Solid Waste Management to Establish E-Cigarette Disposal Program

Over 75% of e-cigarette users don't dispose of their devices properly, with a majority of them putting these devices in the trash. With 26% of youth and 6% of adults in Montana regularly using these products, there is a big risk of harming the environment if this problem is not addressed. In response to this challenge, the Gallatin City-County Health Department has collaborated with Gallatin County Solid Waste Management to establish an e-cigarette disposal program to reduce the number of e-cigarettes that end up in our landfills.

Incorrectly throwing away electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, creates a serious environmental danger, leading to contamination, pollution and increase fire risks. These devices have lithium-ion batteries and electronic parts, and when not disposed of properly they can release dangerous materials into the environment; the harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes batteries, like lithium, nickel, and cadmium can seep into the soil and water, endangering both land and water ecosystems.

Additionally increasing use of pod-based e-cigarettes, which use single-use plastic cartridges known to disrupt hormones, worsens the worldwide environmental crisis of plastic pollution. Lastly, the nicotine in these devices can seep into nearby soil and water, posing a serious risk of deadly nicotine exposure to both children and animals.

"Due to the increasing use of e-cigarettes in Montana, it's clear we need to tackle the health impacts on people as well as the environment. We're thrilled to share our partnership with Gallatin County Solid Waste Management and the launch of an e-cigarette disposal program," says Cherie Murbach, Tobacco Education Specialist at Gallatin City-County Health Department. "This program enables people in Gallatin County to dispose of their e-cigarettes safely and responsibly. It shows our commitment to taking care of both people's health and our local environment."

Gallatin County community members can drop off their e-cigarettes at the Bozeman Convenience Site for free Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All portions of the e-cigarette, including nicotine container and battery, can be disposed of at the Bozeman Convenience Site; employees will advise individuals where to drop off their products at the scale house window upon arrival.

For more information on how and where to dispose of e-cigarettes, please contact the Gallatin County Solid Waste Management's Household Hazardous Waste Specialist at 406-451-1230. Additionally, for more information on the human and environmental health impacts of e-cigarettes or commercial tobacco in general, please reach out to Gallatin County's Tobacco Education Specialist at 406-582-3100.