Hazardous Household Waste

Proper Disposal is Necessary to Protect Life and the Environment


Are you doing some summer DIY projects around the house or just cleaning out your garage?  If so, you may encounter some household hazardous waste.  How and where do you dispose of all those items that could harm the environment?

Household hazardous waste is defined by the EPA as “leftover household products that can catch fire, react or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic.”  Dumping them down the drain can pollute the groundwater and putting them in the trash may not be allowed.  Unfortunately, in Georgia the options for recycling these items are extremely limited.

Some Hazardous Household Items

  • Paint
  • Solvents
  • Insecticides
  • Liquid fertilizers
  • Gasoline
  • Cleaners
  • Motor and other oils
  • Batteries
  • Pesticides

Managing Hazardous Household Waste

  • You should monitor the use, storage and disposal of these items in your home
  • Improper disposal can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, in storm sewers and putting them in the trash
  • Improper disposal can pollute the environment and cause health risks for humans, especially sanitation workers.  They can also present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

Tips for Safe Handling of Hazardous Waste

  • Follow label instructions for the use and storage of materials to prevent accidents
  • Read labels for disposal instructions to prevent the risk of exploding, igniting, leaking and mixing with other chemicals that may cause harm
  • Store hazardous materials in proper containers, never in food containers.  Don’t remove labels. 
  • Corroding containers need special handling.  Call your local hazardous materials officer or fire department for instructions.
  • Empty containers can still pose a threat because of residual chemicals; handle them with care

For more information on ways to handle hazardous household materials and a list of Georgia companies who process them (fee required) visit the Georgia Enviromental Protection Division or the EPA.

For disposal of latex paint (fee required) visit Atlanta Paint Disposal. To learn more about Green Living and recycling visit earth911.org.

NOTE- The JOY FM does not endorse any websites listed on this page. The information contained on this site is intended for informational purposes only.