household Hazardous waste
Many household products contain hazardous chemicals that can, if not properly disposed of, pollute water, harm wildlife and threaten your drinking water and well-being.
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What is Household Hazardous Waste? Household hazardous waste (HHW) is any waste generated from the use of a product containing a hazardous material that, if misused or improperly disposed of, could pose a threat to human health or the environment. These threats vary according to specific properties of the product. To identify potentially hazardous products, look for words on the product label such as poison, danger, warning, caution, or flammable. Most household hazardous wastes are generated from one of the following categories:
- Automotive Products: oil, antifreeze, gasoline, brake and transmission fluid
- Household Cleaners: oven cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants, laundry products
- Paints and Solvents: latex and oil base paint, thinners, varnishes, wood preservatives
- Poisons/Pesticides: fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and rodenticides
Some materials may exhibit more than one chemical hazard; for example, they might be flammable and toxic or corrosive and combustible.
Tips to protect your family's health and the environment:
- Avoid products marked 'danger'. Look for this word on the labels of cleaners, polishes, paint strippers and pesticides. 'Danger' means the product could poison you, cause serious damage to your skin or eyes, or easily cause a fire. Products marked 'caution' or 'warning' are safer but the best choice of all is a product that doesn't require any warning at all. For more information visit HHW - Purchasing.
- Reduce your use of pesticides in your yard and garden and toxic chemicals in your home. Go to Household Hazardous Materials - Alternatives for more information about about these family-and earth-friendly substitutes.
- Recycle your used motor oil, anti-freeze, household batteries and aerosol cans Curbside; they can be picked-up on your regular recycling pick-up day.
- Dispose of leftover HHW safely. When you dispose of chemicals in the storm drain or sink, the chemicals can end up in local water bodies or groundwater. If you throw them in the garbage, the chemicals can endanger collection and disposal workers. Go to HHW - Disposal to learn about programs available for free disposal of hazardous products.