Tips for Reducing Your Hazardous Waste

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Below are some tips and recipes that can help you reduce your homes hazardous waste materials. 

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.

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 - Wear the necessary safety clothing, such as long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection. Use all hazardous substances with adequate ventilation. Keep products in their original containers and never remove the labels. Follow product instructions for safe storage.

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” before disposing of any hazardous waste to keep you,  your family members, and your community safe.

Try to buy only what you need. Measure the area to be painted and ask the salesperson to estimate how much you will need. Also, read the label directions for coverage information.

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.

Latex. Latex paint should be air-dried in its container with the lid removed, away from children and pets. When the paint is completely solidified, the can and its contents can be placed into your trash container. Liquid paint cannot be placed into the trash.

Solvent-based. Air drying liquid solvent-based paint is generally not recommended. If the paint has become completely solidified, you can dispose of it in your trash container. If there is a small amount of paint leftover in the can, you can dry it out by adding an absorbent material (cat litter works well). Once the paint is dry, you can place it into your trash container. Liquid solvent-based paint cannot be placed into the trash.

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

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