Paint, batteries, and e-waste! Oh my!

Just like lions, tigers, and bears, household hazardous waste can be a scary thing!

Did you know that Americans generate 1.6 MILLION tons of household hazardous waste (HHW) each year? HHW includes electronics or e-waste, batteries, household cleaners, and paints. Many common products that we use in our daily lives contain potentially hazardous ingredients and require special care during disposal. It is illegal to dispose of such waste in the trash, down storm drains, or onto the ground. If improperly disposed, household hazardous waste can create a potential risk to people and the environment.

Another risk of improperly disposed of HHW is a “hot load.” A hot load is when a truckload of recyclables or trash catches fire, combusts, or becomes toxic as a result of hazardous waste materials mixing and reacting inside a collection truck. You can prevent hot loads and other risks by properly disposing of household hazardous waste.

Please keep these toxic materials out of landfills and waterways by disposing of them properly and safely. Your community may have a collection program for household hazardous waste. Contact your local solid waste management office or search online for HHW collection in your zip code. You can also use the Earth 911 database.

Photo credit: miodrag ignjatovic |  iStock | Getty Images Plus

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