Household Hazardous Waste
Many common products that we use in our home or place of business contain chemicals that can harm us, our pets, and our environment if handled or disposed of improperly. The following provides information on the safe handling and disposal of household hazardous waste along with some suggestions for safer alternatives to harmful household products.
The http://www.Earth911.com website is another source for locating facilities that will take your hazardous waste. Put in your zip code and select any chemical category.
What is household hazardous waste?
Household wastes are considered hazardous if they can burn easily, corrode or irritate the skin, have the potential to generate heat or explode, or are poisonous to humans and animals. These wastes include paints, insecticides, automotive products, solvents, and some cleaners. They can also include products that use hazardous materials in their manufacturing, such as fluorescent bulbs, batteries, and electronics. Look for warnings on product labels and follow the manufacturer’s disposal guidelines.
When in doubt and whenever possible, use the Product Identification Number to obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) from the manufacturer. The MSDS will identify all the hazardous and safety concerns associated with the product.
What are the dangers of improper disposal?
If placed in the trash, hazardous wastes can injure trash collection workers and harm our environment. Burning, burying, or dumping hazardous wastes down a drain or onto the ground can damage plumbing and septic systems and contaminate our air and water supply.
How can I safely dispose of my household hazardous waste?
The best solution to managing household hazardous waste is not to generate the waste in the first place. You can do this by buying only what you need and then using up the product or giving the unused portion away to someone who can. Be sure to keep hazardous products in their original containers. Rather than purchase and use toxic products, trying using safer alternatives (see below).
Chemical containers missing their labels require special attention and handling.