Safely Disposing Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

What Are Household Hazardous Wastes?

You wouldn’t know it, but there is probably a large amount of hazardous waste in your home. Any bottle that says: Danger! Warning! or Poison! Is probably dangerous to both you and the environment. Products like paints, cleaners, oils and pesticides are just a few household products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients and therefore require extra care when you dispose of them.

How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes

Because of these dangerous ingredients, these materials and other HHW’s cannot be poured down the sink or in your backyard because then they pose a threat to sanitation workers, septic tanks, children, and the environment as a whole. Many communities in the U.S. offer a variety of different options for safely managing hazardous waste and it’s important for you and the environment to take advantage of these programs!

Benefits of Proper Household Hazardous Waste Management

Disposing of your HHW’s correctly isn’t enough. To make an even stronger impact on the environment it’s important to reduce the purchase of HHW’s as well. It’s really quite easy when you think about it. Before you buy a HHW product, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Does it do just one job, or can I use it for multiple tasks?
  2. What restrictions does this product have?
  3. Does the label say what to do if the product contacts skin, or is inhaled or swallowed?

If a product can only be used for one task, has a lot of restrictions, and doesn’t contain the proper medical advice, it’s probably best to steer clear from buying it. Reducing the amount of HHW’s you purchase in your household helps conserve energy and materials that would have been used to make the product in the first place.

When you reduce the amount of HHW’s your buy and dispose of them in the proper manner, you are doing a lot of good for yourself and for the environment. To learn more about HHW’s, visit the EPA’s information page. If you’re looking to safely dispose of any petroleum or lead contaminated soil, get in touch with a Westside Environmental Application Form.

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