Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/26/2017

Most of us toss things into the trash without considering where it goes after. The fact that items end up in rivers, water supplies, the ocean, and landfills escapes us because throwing something into the trash is such a seemingly simple act. However, many common items throughout your home are considered household hazardous waste. The EPA defines household hazardous waste as products that can "catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic." The EPA, state and local government regulate the use, storage, and disposal of such materials. Improper disposal includes pouring them into the ground or down a drain, as well as throwing them out with the garbage. Learning which products you need to dispose of properly will help you and the environment. Read on to learn which products you might not realize shouldn't be thrown out with the trash, and how to properly dispose of those items.

Where do I dispose of __________?

  • Batteries  Anything in your home that is battery-powered is considered household hazardous waste. Batteries contain strong, corrosive acids that can harm us and the environment alike. There are many different types of batteries and disposal methods vary accordingly. Contact your local hazardous waste disposal site or bring small alkaline batteries to a recycling center than some stores have.
  • CFL light bulbs CFLs contain mercury and are therefore considered household hazardous waste. You can bring them to your local hazardous waste disposal site or bring them to a store that recycles CFL bulbs, such as The Home Depot. Just call first to make sure your local store participates.
  • Medication, needles, and lancets Many medications can be disposed of in the trash. However, prescriptions should be brought to a take-back facility. Check with your local law enforcement for a time and place to bring expired or unused medications. For sharps like needles and lancets, put them in a sharps container and ask your doctor about local disposal areas.
  • Pesticides and herbicides These chemicals can be dangerous to local plant and wildlife. They can also be flammable and should be disposed of at your local hazardous waste disposal site.
  • Ink cartridges Many stores will collect your used up ink cartridges and give you a discount on your next purchase. Other companies offer rebates for mailing in empty cartridges. Try your local Staples first.
  • Automotive liquids Fuel, oil, antifreeze, and other automotive liquids are all considered hazardous. Many auto parts stores accept used oil and other automotive liquids, or you can bring these items to your hazardous waste disposal site.
  • Household cleaners  Cleaning supplies like ammonia and drain cleaner contain harsh chemicals that may be considered hazardous in your area. If you can't use up the products, you could consider donating them to a local store or organization who could. Otherwise, check with your local hazardous waste disposal center to determine the best option.
  • E-waste (electronics waste) E-waste is growing more and more common with advancing technologies that are becoming outdated faster and faster. Many state and local governments regulate e-waste. Some stores, like Staples or Best Buy, accept electronics and electronic appliances for recycling but you should call before dropping your items off. Another option is to donate your working electronics to a place like Goodwill, Savers, or The Salvation Army.