Products in our homes and garages that are flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive are considered household hazardous waste. Products such as pesticides, paints, pool chemicals, CFL light bulbs, cleaners, oils, automotive fluids, thinners/strippers, acids/bases, and batteries require special care when disposing of them and can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances.
Why is household hazardous waste a problem? Household hazardous waste poses many dangers ranging from personal exposure to the substances during use, to contamination of water resources from improper disposal of chemicals down a storm drain or into a ditch, where they can be transported directly to bodies of water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of hazardous waste! That’s 100 pounds of household chemicals with labels that say: poison, corrosive, toxic, flammable, or keep out of reach of children/pets, in your home.
Paint is one of the most common household wastes and can be the most confusing to deal with. First, read the label and identify whether the paint or stain is water-based or oil-based. Water-based products can be disposed of in your regular trash, but must be hardened first using kitty litter or other paint hardening product. Be sure to leave the lid off the can so your waste hauler can confirm the product is dry or else they may refuse to collect it. If the product is oil-based it is considered a hazardous waste and should be taken to hazardous waste center where it will be properly recycled or disposed. Warren County has a latex paint only recycling drop-off location in Lebanon. This is open weekdays and is for Warren County residents only. Questions regarding the drop-off site should be directed to the Warren County Solid Waste Management District, 513-695-1209.
What should you do with household hazardous waste if you have it or plan on using it?
Warren County SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren County SWCD and in the conservation world.