Have you heard of household hazardous waste? Do you know what it is or how to get rid of it? Well, the Pala Environmental Department is here to help! Household hazardous waste is products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances or that are corrosive or toxic. These items along with universal wastes (batteries, pesticides, thermometers, and lightbulbs) cannot be thrown away in the regular trash or recycling. It is important to store these items safely until they can be properly disposed of. Products should be stored in their original containers whenever possible – they have been designed to keep the hazardous materials contained. Also, check the product labels for proper storage. If you are not sure if a product is hazardous look for these words on the label: danger, warning, toxic, caution, poison, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. Make sure to keep these products away from children!
Examples of household hazardous waste include:
- Aerosol cans
- Automotive fluids
- Light bulbs
- Car oil filters
- Pool chemicals
- Nail polish
- Cleaning products
- Printer ink
The Pala Environmental Department is going to be starting curbside household hazardous waste pick up in June! Bins will be provided to store your waste until pick up. All you need to do is make sure the waste is properly contained, in a secure container (no leaks!), not mixed with other chemicals or cleaners, and put in your new red bin! These bins will need to be placed curbside with your recycle bins to be picked up by the Pala Transfer Station.
It is also a good idea to try to reduce the number of hazardous chemicals in the home. You can choose safer, less toxic alternatives or make your own. For example, if you need a good general purpose cleaner, mix one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with one quart water. You can always reach out to us if you need some more ideas.
We will be providing more information on when and where you can get your bins and when the program will be officially starting. Until then keep your household hazardous waste properly stored and out of the trash! Questions? Contact PED at 760-891-3510, the Pala Transfer Station at 760-742-1781, or come see us at the Pala Administration Building.