Household Hazardous Waste

When we think of dangerous or toxic waste products, we generally think of the products that factories produce that are harmful to the environment. But did you know that there are a number of household hazardous waste products that we use every day that could be destroying the ozone layer--and our health?

For instance, if you have just finished a home improvement project, and leave certain items like paint or glue around for a long period of time, the fumes could irritate your nasal passages, and could even cause skin irritation and breathing problems.

Even things like furniture cleaners, cooking oils, or pesticides can be considered household hazardous waste, so you’ll need to be very careful when you’re disposing of these items. It is probably a good idea to place the discarded items in a separate trash bag, and drive them to your neighborhood’s trash drop-off location if possible. The longer these substances stay in your house, the more they could irritate the nervous or respiratory systems--this is especially dangerous if you have small children living in the house.

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day

If you have leftover paint or cleaning solution that you need to dispose of, you should never pour it down the drain or into a storm sewer. This may seem like a better method than throwing the items in with the household trash (with is also dangerous), but introducing these poison substances to the city’s water system will have negative consequences in the long run.

Your neighborhood may have already come up with a method for getting rid of household hazardous waste, so be sure to ask about this at your next neighborhood watch or homeowner’s association meeting.

Another great way to make sure that your home is not contaminated by household hazardous waste is to purchase cleaning products that are all-natural.

Many times, the synthetic cleansers in bathroom and tile sprays, laundry detergents, and paints and finishing solutions can harm the environment quickly, and make children and adults very sick. If you are using household products that contain natural plant and flower oils, it is less likely that you will experience red eyes, skin rashes, or shortness of breath while cleaning or disposing of cleaning materials. Brands like Seventh Generation and Jason have great natural and organic household cleaners that you may want to try.