Spring cleaning your garage?

With winter behind us, it’s time to do some cleaning and organizing, especially in the garage. Did you know that most families are storing from 3 to 10 gallons of hazardous materials in their homes and garages? Chances are, some of those items have been sitting on shelves for a long time and aren’t going to be used again.

Make your home environment safer this spring by creating an inventory of the chemicals you have on hand. When you start a new project, check your inventory before you head to the store for paint, cleaners, or garden chemicals. During your inventory, box up chemicals you no longer want or need for proper disposal.

These unwanted chemicals are known as household hazardous waste (HHW) and include household cleaners, insecticides, pesticides, and automotive fluids. If a product is labeled “Danger,” “Poison,” or “Warning,” there is a good chance that the unused and unneeded portion is HHW. When HHW is not disposed of properly, whether it is mixed with household trash or poured on the ground, it can endanger humans, wildlife, and our environment. To learn more about HHW, check the Environmenal Protection Agency’s Household Hazardous Waste page.

Remember to keep all HHW in its original, labeled container. Do not mix chemicals together. Deliver the items you no longer want or need to a local collection facility. To find a safe location for disposal of HHW, check with local solid waste authorities in your community for the best disposal options.  For ways to reduce HHW by using natural cleaners, read Four Simple Steps to a Safer Home.  For more on HHW, read Beware and Be Aware! 

Photo Credit: © iStock.com | James Brey

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