What is Hazardous Waste?

February 11, 2009 at 10:31 am 2 comments

Generally, waste is considered hazardous if it is

  • Ignitable (i.e. burns readily)
  • Corrosive
  • Reactive (i.e. explosive)
  • Waste may also be considered hazardous if it contains certain toxic chemicals.


Most hazardous products are labeled with key words.  Some signal words are
  • Caution
  • Warning
  • Danger
  • Poison
  • Flammable
  • Combustible
  • Corrosive

These products are not safe enough to be placed in your trash.  Some examples of haz waste?  From the house — cfls, mothballs, thermometers or thermostats with mercury, and polish or spot removers that are flammable.  From the garage — oil based paint, stain, paint thinner, concrete cleaner with acids, or glues that contain petroleum distillates.  From the yard — anything that kills weeds, bugs, or rodents, pool chemicals, and lighter fluid.  From the car — antifreeze, carburetor cleaner, degreasers, fuel, and road flares.

These items are collected from Waukesha County residents at no cost.  However, like every econ teacher says, “There is no free lunch!”  This program is subsidized by revenue generating portions of the recycling program.  Best thing to do?  Avoid using hazardous products!  This will keep you and the environment a little bit healthier.  However, if you must use these items, make sure they end up in the right place.  Drop off your hazardous waste in Waukesha County at one of 4 permanent centers.  Once the products are collected, they are neutralized or taken to a special landfill designed to hold hazardous wastes.   

Interested in cutting back on the toxins?  Schedule a Green Cleaning Party to learn about ways to clean with less toxins or schedule a Green Garden Party to learn how to use less chemicals on your garden and lawn.


Entry filed under: Hazardous Waste, Local Interest, Recycling. Tags: , .

Recycling Factoids Happy Birthday Thomas Malthus!

2 Comments Add your own

  • […]  When you do have an item with Mercury it is considered Hazardous Waste; recycle it responsibly.  CFLs can be taken to many area hardware stores for recycling.  Other […]

  • 2. Trash Company Evans  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Environmental issue is always been a good and interesting topic. It portrays the negative aspects of human activity. Global warming is one of the result of it. I do think that if everyone of us has an exact knowledge on how to conserve and recycle things we can fight against it.

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