(See endnotes 87, 104, 105)

Household hazardous waste consists of used oil, antifreeze, oven and drain cleaners, other cleaners, pesticides, batteries, home improvement substances such as solvents, preservatives, strippers, paints, and building materials which have been torn out for repair purposes or replacement, etc. Typically, many of the household hazardous waste items are either poured down a drain, toilet, storm sewer, on the ground, or mixed in with the normal solid waste. This waste includes anything that can be corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive. Universal waste which is discussed in this chapter is also mixed in with the normal solid waste. The improper disposal of these hazardous substances may affect the health and safety of people and damage the environment.

Best Practices in Collection, Storage, and Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste

  • • Practice substitution of less hazardous for more hazardous materials, and reduction, reuse, and recycling of existing materials to keep them out of the solid waste stream.
  • • Develop and utilize special household hazardous waste disposal sites in easy to get to and clearly marked places within the community on a monthly basis and use all means of communication to reach various segments of the community. Where individuals do not have appropriate transportation to do this, then there should be a special hotline phone number that they can call and trained volunteers will come to their house to remove the substances.

A trained staff member of a governmental agency should be directing the operation with volunteer help from the area. This individual should not only be concerned about safety and security but about sorting the incoming hazardous materials and determining if any can be recycled or reused.

  • • Teach consumers how to use less hazardous substances in place of more hazardous substances and to fully use the container and not overbuy because of sales.
  • • Teach consumers how to use, store, and then dispose of hazardous substances in an appropriate manner.
  • • Never mix any type of leftover chemicals.
  • • Always open and use chemicals in well-ventilated areas and read the specific instructions on how to use it best, which appear on the label.
  • • If in doubt about the use, storage, or disposal of hazardous materials, contact your local environmental health agency for assistance.
  • • Determine if the community has a permanent collection system and facility for dropping off any used chemicals.
  • • Determine if any businesses will take back used chemicals related to their businesses and if special community collection days and a permanent facility for receiving and processing the household hazardous waste exist.

Electronic Wastes

(See endnotes 108, 109)

Electronic waste includes any equipment that has a circuit board or cathode-ray tube. It may include such equipment as television sets, answering machines, cameras, computers, video display systems, radios, telephones, etc. It may contain lead, cadmium, mercury, and other hazardous materials. Best Practices include recycling of the materials in special collection centers.

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