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What is household hazardous waste?

Oct 17, 2018 | Blog, Frequently Asked Questions, Tips and How Tos

What is household hazardous waste? That’s a great question. Household Hazardous Waste is the used or discarded portion of products that contain toxic chemicals. Household hazardous waste is also called HHW. HHW products cannot be thrown in the garage with rest of your trash. Special care must be taken to dispose of them properly. Improper disposal of these items poses safety and environmental threats. Furthermore, improper disposal of these items is illegal. Keep reading to learn more about household hazardous waste products and what to do with them.

Examples of Household Hazardous Waste

What is household hazardous waste? A picture of household hazardous waste

First, it’s helpful to look at some HHW examples. You can probably find a lot of these products while cleaning out your garage or basement.

  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning Products
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Kerosene
  • Brake Fluid
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Antifreeze
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Used motor oil
  • Stains and Finishes
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Old propane tanks
  • and more! See more about examples of HHW here. 

HHW chemicals should be safely stored and kept away from children. Please be sure to lock these chemicals away safely. Now, that we’ve talked a little bit about What is household hazardous waste, let’s talk about ways to safely get rid of them.

How to Get Rid Of Household Hazardous Waste

Household chemicals cannot be poured down the sink or toilet. Furthermore, HHWs should never be dumped into the grass, streams, or other water sources. Household hazardous waste also can’t be tossed in the trash. So, what do you do with household chemicals? Here are some ideas.

  1. Read the Label: First, read the label. The label of most chemicals and HHW products will have disposal instructions.
  2. Look Up Disposal Locations in Your Area: Some businesses take and dispose of HHW products. For example, some local pharmacies will dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. However, always check with the business before you drop off.
  3. Community Tox Away Days: We have events called Tox Away Days Here in Indianapolis. These events allow citizens to bring HHWs, chemicals, tires, electronics, and more for safe disposal. You can learn more about Tox Away Days here. Your community probably holds similar events even if you don’t live in Indianapolis.

More Helpful Information About Getting Rid of Household Hazardous Waste:

We hope we explained, What is household hazardous waste? Let us know if you have any more questions. Also, you can comment below with your own HHW safety tips. We hope to hear from you. Thank you for your interest, and take care!

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