CAUTION! DANGER! POISON! These words are designed to keep people away, yet many common household products are labeled with these warnings and left sitting on shelves or in cabinets long after they are needed.
In a typical home, families have about 100 pounds of unwanted hazardous chemicals stored. The unneeded — and often forgotten — items are called “Household Hazardous Waste” (HHW). Take a look around. You’ve probably got HHW that you don’t need, such as old paint, stain, lawn chemicals, bug spray, antifreeze, and gasoline.
Here is a list of 11 of the most common HHW that your family may have sitting on shelves just waiting to be safely cleared away:
- Automotive fluids
- Drain openers
- Fertilizer and plant food
- Hobby paints and glues
- Oven cleaners
- Pool chemicals
- Paint, stain, and paint thinners
- Toilet bowl cleaners
Gathering and safely disposing of HHW will open up storage space and also make your home safer for your family, as well as emergency responders in case of fire or natural disaster. Please don’t pour HHW down the drain, pour it onto the ground, or put it into the trash. Instead, seek out local HHW collection programs to safely dispose of it.
To find a collection site or event near you, contact your local environmental, heath, or solid waste agency to learn about permanent or periodic HHW collections in your area. Or you can search for “household hazardous waste” near your zip code in the Earth 911 database.
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