What are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials include paints, pesticides, household cleaners, automotive fluids, batteries, and other chemical-based products. Many industrial hazardous wastes can be recycled safely and effectively. While certain materials can be reused, others are processed to recover usable products, like metals or spent solvents. Since curbside pickup is not available for hazardous materials, they must be taken to a hazardous waste facility to be properly disposed of or recycled. Stopwaste.org’s recycling wizard can help you learn how to properly dispose of whatever hazardous waste you may have on your hands.
Making Safer Choices
You can minimize hazardous waste by choosing non-toxic or long-lasting options.
- When purchasing, consider the impact on the environment of manufacturing items, using them, and disposing of them
- Chemical cleaning agents and fertilizers can be replaced with all-natural, non-toxic cleaners and organic pesticides
- Choose rechargeable batteries to minimize the number of dead batteries that need to be recycled
- Buy only as much paint as you need so that less excess needs to be recycled
- Try pest control options that do not involve poison
- Avoid aerosol cans, and instead use spray bottles for hairspray and air freshener
StopWaste.org has a great list of convenient alternatives to toxic products.
What Can You Do?
- Dispose of hazardous materials safely; keep toxins out of landfills and the bay
- Use eco-friendly alternatives to hazardous products
- Recycle hazardous waste so raw materials can be re-used instead of going to waste