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Are you safely disposing of the chemicals and toxic waste in your home? Toxic waste doesn’t just come from industrial disposal practices: some of it can come from regular household items too, such as lightbulbs, batteries, electronics, and more.
Improper disposal of hazardous waste can lead to toxins such as lead and mercury contaminating the environment. In order to be kind to the environment, proper chemical waste disposal practices should be observed on not just the industrial level, but the household level as well. Read on to learn all about chemical waste disposal in your home.
What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?
Household Hazardous Waste, or HHW, is defined as hazardous products and chemicals that can be found in the average home.
Here are some common HHW examples:
- Nail polish/nail polish remover
- Chemical toiletries
- Aerosol spray cans
- Household disinfectants and cleaners
- Fire extinguishers
- Auto chemicals such as antifreeze, motor oil, brake fluid, and engine cleaner
- Batteries (including auto batteries)
- Garden pesticides and insecticides
- Weedkiller chemicals
- Pool chemicals
- Flammable liquids
- Wood finishes
- Paint thinners
Generally, anything flammable, combustible, or otherwise chemical-related is considered HHW and must be disposed of using proper chemical waste disposal methods.
Proper Chemical Waste Disposal Practices
If they are improperly disposed of, HHW products can leave a lasting impact on the environment. The toxic chemicals can contaminate the ground, water, and vegetation for many years to come. Improper disposal can include throwing in the trash, pouring down the drain, or dumping in sewers and other mass drainage systems.
Here are a few tips for safe chemical waste disposal:
- Keep chemicals in their original packaging
- Never mix different chemicals together
- Ensure chemicals are tightly capped and secure to avoid leakages
Depending on your area, there are different services available to facilitate safe chemical waste disposal. If you are unable to find any programs where you live, be sure to check for other recycling and disposal services in the area.
Disposing of Large Amounts of Junk
While not chemically hazardous, disposing of large amounts of junk at once presents another waste disposal challenge. If this is your situation, You Fill We Dump suggests hiring a dumpster service to help you dispose of your waste quickly, conveniently, and safely.
Reducing Your HHW
One of the easiest methods of chemical waste disposal is reducing the amount of HHW in your home to begin with. This might sound tough at first, but there are many alternatives to standard chemicals that you may not have considered.
For example, rather than purchasing chemical cleaning products, search for DIY alternatives such as vinegar-based mixtures. Many of these products can be recreated using organic ingredients and essential oils. Before your next shopping trip, be sure to check the web for any environmentally-kind alternatives that can replace HHW products in your home.
The Value of Proper Chemical Waste Disposal
Disposing of chemicals properly is extremely important for maintaining the environment. By reducing our HHW and observing proper chemical waste disposal practices, we can do our part and minimize the impact.
For more topics, check out our other blog entries.