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Tips for Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

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Recycling to rid your home of waste can seem second nature but when it comes to disposing household hazardous waste materials, a simple trashcan won’t do. Did you know that household cleaning substances were responsible for 8.6% of the calls received by the National Poison Data System in 2009?

Products like oil, batteries, paint, cleaners, and pesticides typically contain hazardous ingredients and need specific storage and disposal. Take a step toward safety and learn how to properly store and dispose of hazardous materials.

One great way to start is cutting back on purchasing products containing hazardous ingredients. There are many family friendly alternative methods and products that will accomplish the same level of cleanliness without the hazard.

Now for the products that are already purchased:

  • It’s important to store the products containing hazardous ingredients properly for maximum safety. Never remove hazardous products’ labels or store the products in food containers. The original packaging serves as a warning and a reminder that the contents are hazardous and must be handled with care.
  • Never mix remnants. Hazardous materials should not be combined with other products; some incompatible products have the potential to react, ignite, or even explode.
  • When disposing of hazardous materials, take a look at the label for disposal or recycling instructions.
  • Just because it’s an empty container doesn’t mean its safe! Traces of hazardous waste can still be dangerous and it’s safest to dispose of the container at a drop site as well.
  • For more information and tips like these check out what the EPA has to say about household hazardous waste disposal. http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/hhw.htm

Many communities offer disposal or collection programs for household hazardous materials, including Brownsville. Check out our local waste management, environmental, and health policies on hazardous waste disposal and start disposing safely!