Hazardous Waste Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Hazardous Waste Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Think twice before you start cleaning out under the sink, because you could unknowingly be dealing with hazardous waste. Hazardous waste does not just come stored in barrels destined for some distant chemical waste site. It can be something as innocuous as a bottle of fingernail polish remover or half-empty drain cleaner can.

Household hazardous waste includes many items such as cleaning chemicals, personal care items, antifreeze, fluorescent lights, paint cans and even your pet’s old flea collar. One of the mistakes people often make is throwing hazardous waste in the household garbage simply because they are unaware some of the refuse is toxic to the environment.

Improper Hazardous Waste Disposal Harms the Environment

Read the product labels. Anything with a warning label such a poisonous, toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive or explosive is considered hazardous and should not go into the household garbage. Sometimes things such as batteries or fluorescent lighting can be returned to the retail store where they were purchased.

Use up all of the contents of hazardous wastes in the container before disposing of the container. These can include anything from pesticides, cleaning fluids, antifreeze or motor oil. They should not be disposed of in the regular garbage. Recycle whenever possible and try to purchase more environmentally friendly substitute products in the future.

Do not be tempted to just pour the liquid products down the drain. Plumbing and septic systems can be damaged when corrosive chemicals are put down the drain or toilet. Septic tanks can be harmed along with community wastewater treatment systems and eventually these hazardous liquids will find their way into the water table.

Do Not Risk a Fire or Explosion from a Hazardous Waste Mistake

There can even be harm to human health by improperly throwing hazardous household waste in the trash, down storm sewers or on the ground. It is illegal in some areas and can be dangerous because some products react, ignite or explode when mixed.

When in doubt, check with a local waste management company or fire department or environmental agency. Many communities have different options for safely managing household hazardous waste.

Key Takeaways:

  • Know what hazardous household materials are in your home.
  • Failure to read product labels can be dangerous.
  • Try to reuse or reduce your hazardous waste stream.
  • Do not pour poison down the drain and forget it.
  • Improper waste disposal harms the environment.
  • Contact the experts about the right hazardous waste disposal.

Need Help?

Not sure what to do with all of your household hazardous waste, contact us today!


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