Chart for Household Hazardous Waste


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Substance Problem Proper Disposal Alternative
Rodent bait Lethal to humans and pets in minute quantities, such as one taste. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Cats, traps, chopped bay leaves, cucumber skins, cola.
Insect repellent Poisonous. One teaspoon may be lethal to an adult when ingested. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Screens, protective clothing, creams or lotions are occasionally effective.
Garden insecticides, herbicides or fungicides Poisonous. Can persist in the environment. Especially hazardous around food plants. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Strong hosing or hand picking. Soap & water spray (aphids). Keep garden clean. Use "natural" insecticides (i.e., pyrethrins) or predators (i.e., lady bugs).
Automobile batteries Contain lead and are highly acidic (can produce serious burns). Trade in or recycle when purchasing a new one. Use public transportation, walk or ride a bicycle.
Paints May contain solvents and other poisonous chemical compounds. Donate to someone who needs paint. Let it dry up before disposal. Use water-based (latex) paint if possible. Avoid aerosol sprays.
Lacquer, varnish, thinner and stripper Poisonous. Solvent-based. Some are flammable and carcinogenic. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. None, except for stripper. Sand off old finish in well-ventilated area.
Drain cleaners Poisonous. Can cause serious burns. May contain carcinogens. Wash down drain with plenty of water or take to hazardous waste collection site. Boiling water, plunger, metal snake.
Oven cleaners Poisonous. Can cause serious burns. May contain carcinogens. Spray cans the most dangerous. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Salt, quarter cup of ammonia overnight.
Toilet cleaners Poisonous. Can cause serious burns. One teaspoon can be lethal to an adult. Wash down drain with plenty of water or take to hazardous waste collection site. Mild detergent or small amounts of bleach.
Spot removers Poisonous. Most are solvent-based. May be carcinogenic. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Immediate cold water and detergent; rubbing alcohol or a little acetone.
Silver polishes Include various poisonous solvents. One ounce may be lethal to an adult. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Soak silver in water with baking soda, salt and small piece of aluminum foil.
Furniture polishes Include various poisonous solvents. One ounce may be lethal to an adult. Use up according to directions or take to a hazardous waste collection site. Mineral oil with lemon oil (but this may strip finish) or carnauba wax.
Cleansers Strong oxidizers. Poisonous. Can cause burns. Wrap tightly in plastic, place in box, tape shut and put in garbage. Baking soda and mild detergent, elbow grease.
Window cleaners Contain harmful chemical compounds sometimes carcinogenic. May cause birth defects. Wrap tightly in plastic, place in box, tape shut and put in garbage. Vinegar and water.
Bleach and liquid cleaners Contain strong oxidizers. Can cause burns. Wash down drain with plenty of water. Use powder, not liquid bleach.
Dyes Poisonous, especially to children; don't use cooking utensils when dyeing. May be carcinogenic. Wrap tightly in plastic, place in box, tape shut and put in garbage. Use vegetable dyes such as onion skins, teas, marigolds.
Wood preservatives Produce highly toxic chemicals when burned. Dispose of treated wood with other household garbage. Use water repellent whenever possible instead of preservatives.
Aerosol products Containers may explode if heated. Contents may be highly flammable and contain irritants, corrosives, toxins. Use up or give away. Hold for a hazardous waste collection. EMPTY cans may be put in landfill. Pump spray, roll-on or liquid products.
Air fresheners/deodorizers Harmful to lungs if inhaled in high concentrations or for prolonged periods of time. Solid fresheners poisonous if eaten. Dispose of non-aerosol containers in garbage. Open windows and doors for a few minutes daily. Locate source of odor and eliminate. Baking soda frequently works well to absorb odors.