All homes create waste. What you do with that waste and how you dispose of it can make a huge impact on our environment, especially household hazardous waste and toxins. This can include batteries, gasoline, paint, paint thinner, gun powder, herbicides, poisons, solvents, used motor oil and the list goes on. Disposing of these items properly is everyone’s responsibility to make our earth healthy and safe.

Everyone has options available to them to reduce the amount of hazardous waste they use, completely stop using such products and utilizing proper disposal of them. Not all hazardous products are labeled properly in regards to proper disposal, so it’s up to the consumer to educate themselves and check with the proper state affiliates to seek out disposal options.

First: Read the Label!

If a product does not provide full and complete disposal instructions, there could be warning signs that the item is a hazardous material. These may include:

  • Wear gloves’. This is a sign that the product is corrosive or irritant to the skin and should be handled with caution.
  • Do not store or use near an open flame’ indicates ignitability.
  • Do not store near……’ indicates the reactive qualities of the product.
  • Use only in well ventilated room’ indicates toxic fumes and reactive chemicals and should be handled with care.
Second: Use and reuse as often/as much as possible.

Try to always use the entire potentially hazardous product if possible. If you can’t use it, offer it to someone who can such as a friend, neighbor or family member. If you do pass the product on to someone else, be sure the label and all warnings are attached, intact and legible.

If you have an item such as used motor oil, you can call various repair shops to see if they accept old motor oil for recycling.

Third: If you have to dispose of the item, choose your disposal method wisely.

Contact your state Environmental Protection Agency office to locate disposal centers near you. Sometimes, you can call your county office and they will have a ‘dump day’ where you can bring your hazardous waste disposal items and appliances and they will dispose of them properly.

  • Do not dispose of any hazardous waste down the sink. It’s harmful to the environment and could potentially cause damage to your plumbing.
  • Don’t bury containers of hazardous waste. The fumes and residual can leak into the ground contaminating it and possible close by water locations.
  • Solidify liquid wastes by using an absorbent material such as kitty litter, paper towels, or rags. Put into a heavy plastic bag and dispose properly.
  • Latex paint can be solidified by exposing it to air. Once solid, it can be disposed of with household waste.
  • With aerosol cans turn the can upside down and let the pressure and product out onto paper towels or rags until all pressure is released. Wrap the rages or towels in several layers of plastic. Wrap the can in several layers of newspaper.
  • Pesticides, herbicides, oil paints, paint cleaners and oil and transmission fluids should never be flushed into a water system or poured into the ground.
  • Automobile batteries should never be disposed of with regular household waste. Check with your local office to see about local waste stations for them.
It is for the safety and health of everyone and everything on the plant to dispose of hazardous waste properly. The health of our environment depends on our actions everyday. Finding alternative methods and materials whenever possible is a huge step in accomplishing the reduction of hazardous materials that is released into the environment. The other big step is if you have to use a hazardous chemical, dispose of it properly.

For more information in Ohio about disposing of hazardous materials visit http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0102.html.