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Tips for Reducing Your Hazardous Waste

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Use the information below to learn more about the chemical properties of materials around your home and how you can reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated by everyday household activities. 


Assess Your Needs - Before you buy a product make sure that it will do what you want. Buy only what you need and use up what you purchase. 

Visit the National Institute of Health website- The NIH provides a household products database that includes the SDS sheets, health effects, handling/storage information, and more for most commonly used household materials. 

Read product labels - Be aware of a product’s hazardous waste potential by identifying these signal words on the label: POISON, DANGER, TOXIC, WARNING, CAUTION, FLAMMABLE, and CORROSIVE.

Use and store materials safely - Follow product instructions for use and safe storage of the product you are using. Maintain materials in their original containers to follow safety guidelines provided on the label. Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when necessary. Visit the NIH household products database if you are unsure of proper handling procedures for a hazardous material.

Share leftover materials - Give away unused portions in their original labeled containers to others that can use them. Never share materials that have been tampered with in any way. 

Dispose of hazardous materials properly - Be “in the know” about your waste. Everyday household materials you would not suspect can have hazardous properties that require special disposal methods. Take a moment to look through the list of items accepted, and not accepted, by our Household Hazardous Waste Facility.



Buy latex whenever possible. Buying latex paint will eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals needed for cleanup.

Store properly to make the paint last. When properly stored, paint can last for years. To store, cover the opening with plastic wrap, make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak from the can, and store the paint upside down.

Use up leftover paint. Properly stored leftover paint may be used for touch-up jobs. Smaller quantities of similar colors of latex paint can be blended and mixed for use as a primer on larger jobs, or jobs where the quality of the final finish is not critical.


Non-Hazardous Alternatives 

Substitute your chemical products by making your own environmentally-friendly cleaning products at home using common household items you likely already have on hand.