I REFER to M MacQueen's letter of October 2 about disposal of hazardous household waste.

As it correctly stated, items like household batteries, fluorescent lighting tubes, garden pesticides, some types of paint, and other hazardous chemicals, are now classified as hazardous and cannot be disposed of with regular residual rubbish.

In 2003-04, Hampshire introduced a dedicated service at 11 household waste recycling centres to not only separate them from normal rubbish but actually ensure they would get recycled or disposed of safely.

Batteries, for example, get stripped down and the constituent metals recycled accordingly. Hampshire was one of the first areas in the UK to introduce such a service.

In order to provide such facilities at our reycling centres, a special licence from the Environment Agency is required, along with a certain amount of space which rules out several of our smaller sites.

Consequently, the 11 licensed centres were chosen to give a good geographical spread across the county. The site chosen in Eastleigh borough was Grange Road in Netley as it was the largest available.

This service has proved extremely popular, diverting large quantities of hazardous household waste from landfill, and as the county council continues its ongoing programme to improve all recycling centres in Hampshire, we will look to extend this service further if possible.

The 11 centres for hazardous household waste are: Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Farnborough, Marchwood, Netley, Portsmouth, Segens-worth, Southampton, Winchester.

COUNCILLOR MEL KENDAL, executive member for environment, Hampshire County Council.