We use chemicals to clean our homes, wash our clothes, fix our cars and maintain our lawns. Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste each year. These products can be harmful to our health and pollute our air, land and water if they are not used, stored or disposed of properly.
What is hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste is any waste material that can cause serious illness, a threat to human health or harm to the environment if not disposed of safely. Most products labeled dangerous, flammable, poison, combustible and corrosive are considered hazardous waste.
Common examples include:
- Automotive products: Antifreeze, auto batteries, gasoline and other fuels, motor oil, degreasers, brake and transmission fluid
- Lawn and garden products: Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers
- Household items: Mercury thermometers and thermostats, paint and paint thinner, cleaners, aerosols, batteries, fluorescent bulbs
- Personal care products: Nail polish remover, hairspray, perfumes
How to get rid of hazardous waste
Empty containers can be put in your regular trash. Containers that held chemicals cannot be recycled.
Residents have several options for disposing of can drop-off hazardous products:
Learn how to store and use products correctly and even make your own cleaners.