Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are products used around the house that contain chemicals hazardous to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Examples include cleaners, polishes, antifreeze, used motor oil, pesticides, batteries, paints, paint thinners, furniture strippers, and some personal grooming products.
By definition, household hazardous products are toxic, corrosive, reactive, flammable, or explosive. Labels on a household hazardous product will contain the words caution, warning, or danger. Many of these products should not be poured down drains, on the ground, or thrown in the garbage.
Although households are not regulated, they may discharge the same types of toxic materials as some industrial facilities. Industrial discharges represent less than 6% of the average daily flow to Cobb County wastewater treatment plants. Residential wastewater makes up 94% of the average daily flow. Consider how small amounts of pollution from each home can add up and pose significant problems if spilled into the environment.
- Look at the labels of the products you purchase. Is there a less hazardous alternative?
- Don’t purchase in bulk. While cheaper, you’ll have to store a hazardous chemical in your home.
- If you have something to be disposed of, check with local disposal guidelines first.
- Be aware of “greenwashing” - the act of misleading consumers.