How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste Properly
Virtually every household in the U.S. contains some household hazardous waste. This would include common items like pesticides/fertilizers, household cleaning products and motor oil. These types of chemicals are prohibited from being disposed of in the municipal waste system as well as in most rented dumpsters. Disposing properly of household hazardous waste is critical to the health of the environment as well as our own health.
The EPA states that it’s not only important to avoid throwing hazardous household waste in with regular household trash, but it’s equally important to avoid dumping these chemicals into sewers, storm drains and illegal dump sites. Chemicals can easily leach into groundwater we drink, and it negatively affects fish and other wildlife.
Common Household Hazard Waste
- Paint cans (including empty ones with residual residue)
- Kitchen/bathroom cleaners
- Batteries (small alkaline batteries may be thrown in the trash but only in small quantities)
- Motor Oil
- Any type of automotive fluid
- Lawn fertilizers
- Bug and pest spray/killers
- Pool chemicals
How Big is the Problem?
You may think tossing a few quarts of used motor oil or a few half empty paint cans into your trash won’t impact the environment in the slightest, however that is 100% false. According to the Office of Waste Management at the University of Missouri, 192 million gallons of used motor oil is improperly disposed of each year in the U.S. alone. It also states just one gallon of used motor oil can contaminate one million gallons of water.
So, those few quarts of oil you toss in the bin really do have a large impact on the health of our environment.
How to Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste
Many people ask, “If you can’t throw it in the garbage can or dumpster, where do you dispose of it?”. Although you may not be aware, most communities offer household hazardous waste collection days set aside for collecting toxic / hazardous waste. You can contact your local waste authority to find out the details regarding your area. Local collection events are extremely successful at eliminating hazardous waste from the municipal waste system.
There are also other options available for certain items.
For example, motor oil can be recycled at most local instant oil change centers. Lead-acid batteries (automobile batteries) can be dropped off at the place of purchase, or most auto-parts stores, for proper disposal.
Other disposal options may be available in your community or through your local trash hauler. If you have bulk household hazardous waste to dispose of, contact a local dumpster rental provider to find out your options.
If you’re in need of additional information, or have questions or concerns regarding any hazardous household waste you’re looking to dispose of, give us a call! Our customer service team will be more than happy to assist you in the process of disposing of your hazardous waste.
“How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste.” Hometown Dumpster Rental. N.p., 2016. Web. Sept. 2016.