- Many household wastes can be recycled. Aluminum cans and foil,
glass, paper, scrap metal, and old appliances can all be recycled.
These items can be recycled at recycling centers. Another option is
items to be recycled to charitable organizations which often collect
recyclables to raise funds.
Some Waste Requires Special Management
- Used Oil - Approximately 300 million gallons of
used oil are produced each year by people changing their own motor
oil. Improper disposal of
wastes valuable energy and can be hazardous to public health and
the environment. On surface water, one pint of oil can spread into
slick, suffocate plants and wildlife, and contaminate drinking
water. Oil dumped on the ground into sinkholes or into landfills
may pollute surrounding wells and springs.
Recycling is by far the
safest and most economical method for disposing of used oil. Simply
drain your oil into a closeable container and take
it to a local service station or oil collection center. Used oil is
collected from service stations and garages by licensed oil processors
for reuse as an economical industrial fuel.
- Leaves and Yard Waste - In the fall and spring, a significant portion of
municipal solid waste is made up of leaves and yard waste. When
this material is composted, or allowed to decompose naturally, it
produces a valuable soil
conditioner and conserves landfill space.
Hazardous Household Wastes
- Many common household consumer products have characteristics
which make them "hazardous," meaning they are poisonous,
flammable, explosive, or corrosive. Such products as pesticides,
polishes, paint thinners and strippers,
antifreeze, and batteries have been linked to serious health and environmental
- What can we do with these materials? First of
all, each of us must accept responsibility for the safe use and disposal
products. We can reduce the quantity of hazardous chemicals we use
by becoming informed consumers.
• Read the label carefully before purchasing the material.
• Buy only what is needed for the job.
• Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label.
• Use up the product or give it to someone who can.
- Communities across the country have successfully organized "Household
Hazardous Waste Collection Days." Residents bring unused products to
a central location where specially trained workers separate the recyclables
pack the non-recyclables. A licensed hazardous waste hauler transports the
materials to an appropriate disposal facility.