The air is balmy, the ground is thawing, the temperature is rising. It’s time for spring cleaning. If you’re anything like Enviro Girl, you’ll probably find all kinds of junk in your basement, attic and garage. Stuff like aerosol cans. Old paint. Dead batteries. Motor oil. Rodent baits. Empty gasoline containers. Florescent light bulbs. Cooking oil. Computers. Driveway sealant. Mercury.
What do these items have in common? They all qualify as hazardous waste. Generally hazardous waste is anything labeled ,“FLAMMABLE,” “CORROSIVE,” “REACTIVE”, “POISON” and “COMBUSTIBLE.” These items MUST be disposed of properly or they can poison the soil, groundwater or even the air. Simply hiding them in your garbage dumpster and hoping nobody notices them on their way to your local landfill endangers sanitation workers–or even pets and small children who might get into your garbage before it leaves your curb.
Because hazardous waste is a harsh reality in a world full of harsh chemicals, most landfills are equipped to safely dispose of it. Check with your local landfill (by phone or online) and see when hazardous waste collections are held–most offer a spring and a fall “Clean Sweep” and many will collect it throughout the year on Saturdays. Proper disposal of hazardous waste takes a little time and effort, but it’s free, it’s easy to do and it makes our planet a safer place.
Enviro-Girl says: Do your spring cleaning, but safely dispose of your trash!