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Household Hazardous Waste
Household Products - Cleaners

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Almost every day people clean their houses. This may involve using one or more of the numerous cleaning products available.

In the kitchen, cleaners are used to clean the oven, the floors, and to disinfect countertops. In the bathroom, cleaners are used to clean the toilet, the floors, and tiles in the bathtub and shower. In the living and bedrooms, cleaners are used on the carpets, on furniture, and to clean windows. Many of these daily cleaners are hazardous to the environment and to humans.

Hazards:

Most drain, oven, and toilet bowl cleaners are corrosives compounds. Corrosive means that the product can irritate or burn the skin, and damage the eyes if it comes in contact with them. Most of these products are toxic if ingested, meaning they can poison people and animals who accidentally ingest them.

Metal polishes, furniture polishes, and spot removers are solvent-based cleaners. Solvent-based products are flammable and/or hard to extinguish once burning. These products are also toxic if ingested.

Cleaners can be reactive when mixed with each other, producing noxious gases. Noxious gases can cause nausea, eye irritation, coughing, lung irritation, dizziness, and chest tightness.

Alternatives:

There are many less toxic and non-toxic alternatives available on the market. These alternatives are affordable, effective, and easy to purchase. They can be purchased from most stores that carry cleaning products. Keep in mind that just because a product is all natural, it doesn’t mean that it is non-toxic. All non-toxic products will have the words non-toxic written clearly on the label. Click here for a link to a non-toxic cleaner and home recipe brochure.

Storage and Disposal:

 

  • Buy only what is needed to avoid storage problems.
  • Keep out of reach of children or in a locked cabinet.
  • Donate useable cleaners to shelters or organizations that may need them.
  • Recycle empty aerosol containers.
                                           

Where to take HHW:

 

Towns and solid waste districts hold hazardous waste collection events every year, two per year at minimum (spring and fall) and many common household hazardous wastes can be disposed of at these events. For more information and event scheduling, contact your solid waste district. Find contact information on the solid waste district contact list page. (Note: If you live in a village, fire district, etc., please select the town your village, fire district, etc. is in from the list. If your town is not a member of a district, contact information for your town clerk is provided.) 

Solid Waste Management Districts contact list

 

 

 

 

VT DEC Waste Management & Prevention Division 1 National Life Drive - Davis 1  Montpelier, VT  05620-3704  Tele: 802-828-1138   Fax: 802-828-1011

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