Household Chemical Recycling
make a product hazardous?
• Remember these rules
• Household Chemical Collection Centers
chemicals, the products that we keep to clean and spruce up our homes,
are commonly referred to as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).
The average house contains more than 20 products which have some type
of ingredient that is hazardous. This equals 3 to 10 gallons of
hazardous products per house!
Landfills are designed not to leak, but even the best designs have the
potential to leak and pollute groundwater.
Household hazardous waste recycling and collection opportunities are
becoming more numerous in Arkansas. To learn if your community has a
household hazardous waste or household chemical collection program,
contact your Regional
Solid Waste Management District.
- Many products regularly used in homes have dangerous characteristics
that are often overlooked. The ways these products are used and disposed
of may cause illness or environmental problems.
- Products are considered hazardous if they have one or more of the
- Products that can cause death, cancer, birth defects or are
poisonous. This includes some medicines, pesticides, antifreeze, and
heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
- Products that can be easily set on fire. This includes floor polish,
turpentine, and lighter fluid.
- These can detonate or explode through exposure to heat, sudden shock,
pressure or incompatible substances. This includes ammunition, home
chemistry sets, and other hobby chemicals.
- Products that cause a chemical action that can burn and destroy
living tissues or other materials when brought in contact. These include
strong acids and alkalies, auto batteries, bleaches, oven cleaners,
drain cleaners, and some rust removers.
- Other products and their waste may have dangerous
properties. They may be dangerous to use but are not defined
as hazardous by law. These include:
- Some laundry detergents are irritants to some people. They may also
- These cause allergic reactions such as rashes or sensitivity to
sunlight. Examples are formaldehyde and some deodorant soaps.
Read the LABEL! Labels provide information on:
- Directions for use
- Storage and/or disposal information
- Human safety information
- Manufacturer's name and toll-free number
- Environmental information
- EPA Registration number
Most hazardous products can be grouped into these major categories:
- Automotive products and supplies - Motor oil, lubricants, antifreeze,
batteries, cleaners/polishes, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and
- Household cleaners - Oven, metal, drain, floor, carpet and
upholstery, coffee maker, toilet bowl, and septic tank cleaners, spot
removers, bleach, dyes, and silver and furniture polishes.
- Paints and solvents - Latex, oil-based, auto and model paint, paint
stripper, primer, rust remover, turpentine, varnish, wood preservative,
mineral spirits, and glues.
- Lawn and garden care products - Pesticides, insecticides, fungicides,
herbicides, and bactericide. All are toxic.
- Miscellaneous - Heating oil, smoke detectors, moth balls, some
cosmetics and medicines, aerosol products, batteries, shoe polish, nail
polish remover, nail polish, air fresheners, and deodorizers.
- Buy only what you need.
- Use nontoxic alternatives whenever possible.
- Recycle leftovers.
- Read labels carefully and observe the precautions.
- Use only according to directions.
- Use no more of a product than is absolutely necessary.
- Store safely.
- Discard leftover products and containers in the recommended manner.
- Never bury waste.
- Never dump waste along the road.
- Never pour waste into a street drain.
- Do not mix wastes (you could form a hazardous product or create a
- Do no put hazardous liquids in the trash.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection centers and events are available in some Arkansas counties. To
see if a collection opportunity is available in your community, check
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's listing of HHW Collection Centers
or check with your local solid waste or public works department.