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Avoiding the Danger Zone: How to Handle Household Hazardous Waste in Your Home

Even though the term"toxic waste" may seem frightening, there's most likely plenty of dusty waste in your house right now! According to the EPA, the typical US household generates over 20 kilograms of hazardous waste each year. What is worse is that around 100 kilograms can collect around the home and frequently remain there when occupants proceed or execute a thorough cleaning.

Hazardous waste describes residues from home goods that, under certain conditions, can spark, respond, burst, or are toxic (EPA). Things like paints, solvents, oils, batteries, a few light bulbs, sharp items and needles, antifreeze, and pesticides generally contain these toxic substances and need particular services to make sure they are properly disposed of.

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Read the best tips on how to avoid hazardous areas by handling hazardous materials properly:

Never throw the following items in the trash:

  • Painting: – Only non-toxic water-based paints can be disposed of with the rest of your trash. However, it must be dried first. Remove the lid and let the paint dry before removing it.

     

  • Light bulb: – Some light bulbs contain mercury which is poisonous. Recycle light bulbs by taking them to a recycling shop or by purchasing a recycling kit

     

  •  Battery: – Alkaline and lithium batteries can cause fires in trucks and landfills. Collect batteries in boxes and take them to a store where they are recycled.

     

  • Engine oil: – Motor oil is acceptable in many places as long as it is in a labeled and closed container. Visit Earth911 to find a collection point near you.

     

  •  Electronics: – Old cell phones and laptops contain toxic materials and sensitive data.