What is HHW?
Some jobs around the home may require the use of products containing hazardous components. These products include oil based paints (including stains, strippers and varnishes); household cleaners, automotive products, pesticides, fertilizers and other yard products. Even electronics such as televisions and computer monitors contain hazardous components. All products can be identified by such words as "warning, " "danger," "toxic," "corrosive," "irritant," "flammable" or "caution" found on their labels.
When HHW is disposed of in trash, it can contaminate landfills, and subsequently, our groundwater. When dumped onto the ground or poured into the storm sewer, HHW can contaminate surface water. In either case, water contamination results in higher water treatment costs and has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem.
The average American household generates 15 pounds of HHW annually. Our homes contain an average of three to eight gallons of hazardous materials in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and workshops. The best strategy to relieve the environmental impact of household hazardous waste on our waterways and landfills is to implement the four "Rs": Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy and use less toxic alternatives to hazardous household products.