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Household Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off 
Naperville Fire Station No. 4
1979 Brookdale Road
Saturdays & Sundays (except Holidays) 9AM-2PM

The spring season is quickly approaching which prompts the majority of us to ponder outdoor activities and create our plans for home improvement and clean up projects. Before you begin your springtime agendas please consider the following statistics and information provided to make you a more educated consumer. Household hazardous waste consists of the unwanted or unusable portion of consumer products that contain substances that can harm human health or the environment. 

Hazardous wastes from households are not regulated in the same way as hazardous wastes from industry and businesses simply because the costs and efforts to create and manage an enforcement agency to monitor household hazardous waste materials and their safe disposal would be overwhelming, so the burden becomes an individual and personal responsibility.
The US Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste (HHW) every year, and the average home has accumulated as much as 100 pounds of HHW.

Things to Make Your Home Safer
Inventory all the products in your home.

A lot of the everyday use products we use and store around our home pose health and safety risks. Here are a few of the common ones:
  • Automotive fluids ( oil, antifreeze, fuel, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid )
  • Household cleaners ( bleach, ammonia, carpet freshener, window cleaner )
  • Health and beauty products ( hairspray, fingernail polish, medications)
  • Lawn and garden ( fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides )
  • Barbeque products ( propane, charcoal briquettes, lighter fluid )
  • Home maintenance ( paint, varnish, stains, rodent poison )

Some of these products we would not think of as hazardous because we use them every day, however if misused or improperly stored they can be dangerous. For instance most hairsprays and aerosols are highly flammable.

Over 5 million poisoning exposures occur annually in the U.S., 92% occur in the home, and 53%of these involve children under the age of 6.

Mishandling of gasoline is responsible for over 6,000 residential fires, 500 deaths, and nearly $500 million in property damage each year in the U.S.

Consumer Awareness
Read the product labels. Hazardous products must be handled with respect! Read labels and follow directions carefully. Words to look for: DANGER – WARNING – CAUTION
Buy only what you need. Do not purchase more than is needed for the job, you’ll only have to contend with the left over material.

Keep out of reach of children. Cleaners and other household chemicals can be very deadly and should be stored in cabinets that are out of reach of children. Teach children about the dangers of chemicals.
Flammable Liquids and Gasses. Propane cylinders, gas cans, charcoal lighter, and automotive fluids should not be stored in the house.

Keep chemicals in original containers. Household chemicals should not be transferred to different containers unless the container is properly labeled and compatible with the chemical. In addition chemicals should never be transferred to containers that originally contained food (such as soda or milk jugs).

Use alternative products. Less hazardous products can be used for common household chores. For instance occasionally pouring baking soda and vinegar down your drains will keep them from clogging up.

Dispose of properly. Products should never be discarded on the ground or poured into storm drains. Many products shouldn’t even be disposed of in the trash or down the toilet.
Post emergency contact and telephone numbers. Post the emergency contact numbers by your telephone or your refrigerator. These numbers should include: Fire Department, Police and the Poison Control Center.

No one article can provide all the necessary information regarding Household Hazardous Materials to all consumers. We hope the handful of issues and statistics covered here will prompt you to survey the products in and around your home; familiarize yourself with each product, its location and purpose. More products are hazardous than you think. Seek out the information you need to safely and properly dispose of unwanted products and materials.


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