"Are you part of the pollution or part of the Solution?"
According to the US Government, the average household contributes 20 pounds of hazardous waste per year. We are so quick to blame "big business" and yet when you put it all together an average neighborhood alone, if that average is correct, (I would guess in our more affluent area, we might be adding more than the average) A 500 home subdivision could possibly be contributing to the hazardous waste arena, approximately 11,000 lbs of hazardous waste into our landfills each year. I would make a guess to say, not because we didn't care, but just because we didn't know that these regular items are hazardous.
Most of us certainly would not consider our everyday trash "hazardous", however, if you happen to throw away household batteries, or light-bulbs into the trash, you've added to the hazardous waste "toxic brew" of chemicals that are leaching into our soil, and ultimately into our water supply.
Here is a list of what is considered Hazardous:
Oil based paints, paint thinners, herbicides, Insecticides, Pesticides, Old Gasoline, Pool Chemicals, Household Cleaning Products, Household batteries, mercury, used motor oil, Drain Cleaners, Lawn chemicals, Solvents, Anti-freeze, hobby chemicals, aerosol paints, CFL Florescent lights – they contain mercury NOTE: This includes their containers as well.
Here is what we can do;
Have a special place for old battery collection, set aside a box to throw away fluorescent lights, Please don't dump unwanted solvents or cleaners down the drain or into our water supply. Check with your city to see if they provide a place to dispose of hazardous waste items. In my area, one of the Fire Stations takes these sorts of items certain times each weekend.
Electronics need to be handled in totally different ways. Perhaps your local area has an annual electronics collection day? Check with your local authorities and see what day you need to set aside so you can rid your home of the old cell phones, VCR's, TV's, Printers, Computers, etc. None of these things should be put into the regular garbage collection. Local governments want us to collect these sorts of items so they can be disposed of properly.
In the mean time, make it a family project to collect all hazardous waste and dispose of them properly. "Let's all Give a Hoot and Don't Pollute" Do the right thing for our Planet. Our Children's future depends on the decisions we make today.