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How to Reduce Use of HHW
Schedule Your guide to household hazardous waste

One way to reduce the generation of household hazardous waste and prevent potential pollution is to find less toxic alternative products. This will help protect the health of your family, neighbors and the environment. As you make your choices about the use of hazardous and nonhazardous products, remember that the decisions consumers make affect the way manufacturers design products. The most common household products involved in poisonings are: prescription and non-prescription drugs, cleaning agents, plants and cosmetics.

  • Use products containing hazardous materials and fertilizers sparingly or use a non hazardous/less toxic alternative.

  • Before purchasing a product, read the label carefully to make sure it will do what you want it to do. Once you buy something you are also legally responsible for disposing of it properly.

  • Buy just what you need to do the job. Use it up. Give leftovers to a friend, neighbor, business or charity that can use them up. Excess pesticide might be offered to a greenhouse or garden center.

  • Select water-based products over solvent-based products when available (e.g., paint, glue, shoe polish).

  • Avoid aerosol sprays. Choose the pump spray or other alternatives.

  • Be smart when you apply pesticides or fertilizers. Do not apply before a rain. Not only will you lose most of the pesticides or fertilizer through runoff, but you also will be harming the environment. Do not overwater after application. Read the label. Do not apply more than is recommended.

  • Have a professional change your motor oil. For a few dollars more, you not only save yourself time and energy, but it's more likely that the used motor oil collected is recycled.

  • Dispose of household hazardous wastes according to the directions on the container, or at a HHW collection event, a used motor oil recycling center, auto parts store or service station.

  • Ask for re-refined motor oil for your vehicle. Re-refined oil is oil that has been recycled and then reprocessed so it is as good or better than virgin oil. By using re-refined motor oil, you are closing the loop and saving natural resources.

  • Consumer Choices

    We can easily reduce the amount and toxicity of waste in and around our homes, and at the same time save money.

  • Careful planning can help avoid the need for many potentially toxic products; and
  • Careful shopping will allow us to find products that can be recycled, reused or be disposed of safely.

  • Many sources of household hazardous waste can be replaced with other products that are safer, cheaper and equally effective. Careful planning and shopping lend themselves to source reduction – meaning reducing the amount of hazardous materials entering the household as well as reducing the toxicity of the waste generated. We can do this by shopping thoughtfully, reading labels and looking for non-hazardous or less toxic products.
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