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Monday, September 25, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Household Chemical Disposal


When most people think of recycling and disposal, they automatically imagine bottles and cans. But did you know that majority of your household items don’t belong in the trash?

In fact, most of the things you put in the dumpster should be discarded differently. Luckily, there are several waste management programs offering their services, including recycling by mail.

If you’re unfamiliar with household chemical disposal and want to learn more, take a look at the info below.

How to Dispose of Household Chemicals

Household chemical disposal should be carefully thought through. Understandably, it’s easy to toss everything out together while you’re spring cleaning or decluttering.

However, there are certain steps that will ensure that you dispose of dangerous household chemicals correctly. For a better understanding, take a look at these safety tips and the following suggestions:

Follow Label Instructions

The best way to dispose of toxic products is to read the manufacturer’s label. Most of the time, the product will have instructions on how to get rid of the items. If you can’t find it on the label, check their website to get more information.

Don’t Pour It Down the Drain

When you’re getting rid of household chemicals, your first thought might be to pour it down the drain. However, you should stay away from the toilet and other pipes, especially if you’re home sits on a septic tank.

Those harmful elements will eventually work their way into sewers in drainage ditches, which is harmful to the environment.

Learn the  Disposal Requirements in Your Area

Every state and county has different protocols for disposing of toxic waste. Some states have certain collection days or locations where you can safely drop off harmful chemicals. To learn locations where you can recycle in your area, visit websites like earth911.com.

Common Household Chemicals

Disposing of dangerous household chemicals is a huge responsibility. For years, people have unintentionally tossed out hazardous elements without understanding the repercussions.

If you’re in the process of decluttering your home, here are some of the most common household chemicals that require careful disposal:


Most folks have seen broken down TVs and other electronics sitting outside of people’s dumpsters. Over time, is easy to accumulate phones and computers, especially since technology advances rapidly.

However, outdated electronics shouldn’t be thrown in the trash. In fact, it’s against the law in some states.

Thankfully, many manufacturers and retailers that sell electronics also have a take-back program. That means you can turn in your used electronics sometimes for a credit or a small reimbursement.

If that’s not an option, check if there is a municipal solid waste service in your area or take your items to a local e-cycling company.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Since light bulbs contain small traces of mercury, they have to be discarded a certain way. Check to see if your local hardware store has a collection bin for burned-out bulbs. If not, contact the manufacturer for a mail-back option.

Cleaning Supplies

If you’re making the switch from harmful household chemicals to natural products, be careful of how you discard the harmful products. Most cleaning solutions contain harsh ingredients that shouldn’t go in the trash.

Check the label to find out how to dispose of it. Most cleaning solutions that are designed for the drain like liquid, gels, and powders can be flushed down the pipes.

However, empty aerosol cans need to be recycled and oven cleaners should be taken to a waste disposal location.


Batteries are another item that shouldn’t go in the garbage after you’re done with them. They contain harmful chemicals and therefore need to be recycled.

Some municipalities have drop-off services for batteries. You can check retail companies to see if they receive old batteries as well.


Never flush your unused medication down the toilet or toss it in the trash. If it goes down the drain, it can pollute the water. Furthermore, if you put it in the trash, it can get into the wrong hands.

The better alternative is to crush up unused medication and combine it with dirt, coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Then, fill it in an airtight container before throwing it away.

Car Fluids

Your garage is full of dangerous chemicals. Items like oil, windshield wiper fluid, and antifreeze are harmful to the environment. But, you can take them to a household hazardous waste collection event.

Also, check if your local auto body shop has a recycling program. If you have an old car battery, you may even be able to take it back to the retailer that you bought it from.


When you paint, you’ll likely have some leftover. For paint that you no longer want, consider taking it to a nonprofit that gives materials for remodeling and construction.

For dried paint, it might be accepted at a hardware store. If not, you can wait and take it to a hazardous household waste event.

Garden Products and Fertilizer

Never dumped your garden chemicals down the drain or in a storm drain. It’s illegal to do so. Garden chemicals should be taken to a household hazardous waste event or to a garden supply store.

Household Chemical Disposal Made Easy

The process of household chemical disposal might seem difficult, but it’s not. Sure, you’ll have to take extra time out of your schedule to properly discard the items, but it’s worth it. You should want to follow to law and keep the environment around you safe.

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