Household Toxins and How to Dispose of Them - Rocky Mountain Compost
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Household Toxins and How to Dispose of Them

19 Dec Household Toxins and How to Dispose of Them

Believe it or not, the average home contains several potentially hazardous materials ranging from caustic cleaning agents to toxic automotive products. These materials aren’t usually very harmful as long as they are handled and stored responsibly, but they cannot simply be thrown out with the rest of your trash. Here are a few things you should be doing with household waste if you cannot just throw it away.

Household Cleaners

You should try to use up your household cleaners instead of just throwing them away. If you don’t think you’re going to use all of your cleaners, give them to someone who will so you won’t have to worry about throwing them out. If you must dispose of them, you will be happy to know that many gel, powder, and liquid-based cleaners that are water-soluble can be poured safely down the drain, and most solid products such as towelettes and scouring pads can be thrown in the trash.

The problem with household cleaners comes when you are dealing with more caustic products such as oven cleaner or tile cleaners. These cannot simply be thrown into the trash or washed down the drain. Either use these up or contact the manufacturer for tips on how to safely get rid of these.

Automotive Products and Batteries

Automotive products such as antifreeze and motor oil can often be recycled if you know where to take them. Many communities have waste collection programs that can take your most toxic automotive products off of your hands, and batteries can be taken to a special recycling center. Brake fluid will also evaporate on its own in a few days as long as you leave it in a container full of cat litter and place it in a well-ventilated area.


Electronics often contain toxic materials that are harmful to the environment, and in many cases it is illegal to dispose of computers, printers and similar products in the trash. Fortunately, there are recycling programs that will get rid of your unwanted electronics safely. Contact your local recycling centers or electronics stores for more information, or wait until your city has special collection days for electronics. Of course, you can also sell certain electronics to a dealer if they are in good working condition. Search for local dealers to see if any of them will accept what you have to give.

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