Did you know…?

Cleaning products like aerosols, bathroom cleaners and drain cleaners, and car supplies like waxes, starting fluids and repair products are all considered household hazardous wastes. Many ingredients in these products are corrosive or reactive, and if they aren’t disposed of properly, they can harm people and the environment. Chemicals in them can actually contaminate our rivers, lakes and drinking water.

Simple alternatives can replace many hazardous substances. If you choose to use commercial products, however, make sure to dispose of them properly! See the chart below for details.

If you see the words WARNING, CAUTION, DANGER or TOXIC, FLAMMABLE/COMBUSTIBLE, CORROSIVE and EXPLOSIVE, you’re probably handling a household hazardous waste.

 

Proper disposal of household hazardous wastes is easy – the trick is just knowing how!

Kitchen Aerosol cans (empty)
Floor care products
Household batteries
OK to throw away
Take to drop-off site*
Take to drop-off site
Bathroom Disinfectants
Medicine (expired)
Nail polish/remover (dried up)
Toilet, tub and tile cleaners
Pour down drain**
Pour down drain**
OK to throw away
Pour down drain
Auto Antifreeze
Battery (lead acid)
Gasoline & kerosene
Motor oil
Oil Filter
Transmission Fluid
Wiper Fluid
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Lawn Garden fertilizer
Insecticides & weed killers
OK to throw away
Take to drop-off site
Workshop Paint (latex – dried)
Paint (oil-based, auto, model)
Paint thinner, stripper or primer
Wood preservative
OK to throw away
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site
Take to drop-off site

* Drop-off site = local household hazardous waste drop-off site
** Pour small amounts down the drain with lots of water.

 

Cleaning products like aerosols, bathroom cleaners and drain cleaners, and car supplies like waxes, starting fluids and repair products are all considered household hazardous wastes. Many ingredients in these products are corrosive or reactive, and if they aren’t disposed of properly, they can harm people and the environment. Chemicals in them can actually contaminate our rivers, lakes and drinking water.

 

Tips for handling toxics

  • Store household hazardous wastes in their original containers, and make sure the labels are readable.
  • Save money and reduce waste by purchasing only what you need and use.
  • Let solvents and paint thinners set in a closed jar to let dirt and paint settle to the bottom. You can reuse the top portion, and dispose of less waste!
  • Never pour motor oil, paints or chemicals directly down the sink or into a catch basin in the street. Recycle or dispose of them properly.

Non-toxic alternatives:

Homemade solutions to prevent pollution
  • To disinfect, use one-half cup borax or washing soda* dissolved in one gallon hot water.
  • To clean floors, use 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup washing soda* in one gallon warm water.
  • For glass cleaner, mix one part vinegar to four parts water. Dry windows with newspapers.
  • To unclog drains, use a plumber snake instead of drain cleaners.
  • Instead of toilet cleaner, scrub with a toilet brush and baking soda.
  • To deodorize carpets,sprinkle with baking soda, and vacuum after 30 minutes.* Be sure to use washing soda (sodium carbonate) in these recipes, and not baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

 

Documents:

Hazardous waste guide

For a great resource on safe alternatives for cleaning your car and boat, visit: