household hazardous waste

Household Hazardous Waste: What You Should Know

Did you know that many of the products we use to keep our homes clean and functioning well are considered highly dangerous? Although these products are beneficial and mostly safe to use around our homes, disposing of them is an entirely different matter.

Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are any household products or chemicals that pose a threat to humans, animals, and the environment when disposed of improperly. It’s not enough to simply throw these items into a residential dumpster rental.

Many of these items are prohibited from most municipal and rental dumpsters.

What Household Products Are Considered Hazardous?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, HHW are items that can explode, catch fire, or otherwise react negatively to other substances in certain situations.

A quick look at our garage, laundry, and household cleaning supply closet will reveal several products bearing warning labels with the words caution, toxic, flammable, and more — often in bright red and all caps.

All of these items are considered hazardous waste. There are also other things we use daily but don’t necessarily have warning tags on them. These include everyday items such as fluorescent light bulbs and electronics.

Below are hazardous waste examples that we usually find in different parts of our homes.

Garage and car care items:

  • Car batteries
  • Antifreeze
  • Motor oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Car tires

Backyard and gardening products:

  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Lawn and pool chemicals

Household, personal, and cleaning items:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Non-alkaline batteries, including AA, AAA, and button batteries
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Drain and toilet cleaners
  • Spot removers
  • Mothballs
  • Old propane tanks
  • kerosene
  • Prescription drugs
  • Insecticides or insect repellants
  • Nail polish remover or acetone

Electrical and miscellaneous items:

  • Electrical switches and relays
  • Electronic devices, including TVs, computers, and microwave ovens
  • Paint and paint remover or thinner
  • Flea collars and sprays
  • Older thermostats that contain mercury

Dos and Don’ts for Disposing Hazardous Waste

The dangerous and toxic nature of these household items makes proper waste disposal crucial. Improper removal of HHW can result in soil, air, and water contamination. These could then negatively impact our health and may even lead to life-threatening diseases.

Indiscriminate garbage disposal of toxic or dangerous products also contributes to climate change, harms the fauna and flora around us, and may adversely affect the local economy.

Due to the different natures and composition of hazardous household products, there are several dos and don’ts we need to observe to ensure safe waste disposal.

When disposing of HHW, please:

  • Ensure all of the product is already used up. This is especially important when disposing of liquids and aerosol cans.
  • Find the nearest HHW disposal program to assist you in disposing of the items.
  • Look into recycling facilities. This is particularly helpful for disposing of electronics, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and more.
  • Look into recycling facilities. This is particularly helpful for disposing of electronics, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and more.

More importantly, remember not to do the following:

  • Don’t mix the HHW with regular household trash or garbage. Doing so can cause harm not only to the garbage hauler and the environment but also make you liable for legal repercussions.
  • Don’t dump liquid HHW down the sink, toilet, or any drain. This can potentially cause a chemical reaction and even an explosion. The liquid HHW may also end up in our water system.
  • Don’t pour liquid HHW directly into storm drains, creeks, and other bodies of water. This can potentially contaminate our drinking water supply. The toxic waste will also likely harm the fishes and other aquatic life in our rivers, seas, and oceans.
  • Don’t pour or bury any HHW in the ground. This can lead to soil contamination and harm or kill off the plants and animal life in the area.
  • Don’t burn dangerous household waste. Toxic waste is highly flammable or explosive, meaning it may cause uncontrollable fires or big explosions. Meanwhile, non-flammable HHW may still release toxic chemicals and fumes that will harm us and our environment.

Proper Hazardous Waste Management

Improper household hazardous waste disposal is not only extremely dangerous to our community and the environment — it is also highly illegal.

Working with a trusted residential dumpster service like Best Price Dumpster Rentals helps ensure proper and timely household hazardous waste collection and disposal. Not only do we offer our dumpsters at affordable rates, but our expert staff can also advise you on sorting hazardous waste.

For any questions on hazardous waste management or to request a free quote, call us at
(813) 437-7547.