Household Hazardous Waste
Many common household products contain hazardous substances. Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are products that consumers no longer need. In Missouri, we generate about 47,000 tons of HHW each year. These wastes can catch on fire, react with other substances, explode under certain conditions, are corrosive or poisonous. Among the most common of these are:
Liquid items should not
be poured down the drain. They should not be put in your household trash for disposal as they may cause problems, i.e. chemical reactions/fires for the sanitation works and the environment.
When disposing of household hazardous waste, please:
- Take the lid off latex paint and allow it to solidify before disposing. NOTE: If you add cat litter or oil dry to the can, the product will solidify faster. When completely dry and solid, it can be put in your trash container.
- Follow all directions on the container for use and disposal
- Buy just enough of the product to do the job
- Buy non-hazardous or less hazardous products
- Keep products in their original containers with instructions readable
- Use up the entire chemical before discarding it
- Share the unused product with others
Recycle whenever you can. Motor oil, oil filters, car batteries and used antifreeze can be taken to recycling locations in the St. Louis area. Contact the St. Louis County Health Department at www.hhwstl.com
Medical wastes can be dangerous to the workers picking up trash and disposal personnel at the transfer station or landfill. Residential households are required to package all sharps (needles, knives, etc.) in rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistent containers.
In the event of accidental poisoning or exporsure to toxic chemicals, contact the Regional Poison Control Center at (314) 722-5200 or (800) 366-8888.