Hazardous Materials

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Here in Mobile, we often gather many hazardous materials at home without really paying attention to it.

These items include soaps, cleaners, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. But everyone should know the importance of disposing of them properly as they can be detrimental to everyone’s health is they reach the environment unchecked.

Whenever these products are dumped illegally into storm drains or in the countryside, they can eventually impact the City’s drinking water. So, everyone should make sure to dispose of these chemicals correctly.

What properties does household hazardous waste have?

These household hazardous items may possess any of the following properties:

  • reactive
  • flammable
  • explosive
  • corrosive or toxic

What household items are considered hazardous?

Household hazardous waste
The following items are recognized as hazardous materials and need to be disposed of properly.

  • Different kind of acids such as hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, and muriatic acid
  • Aerosol cans that contain some remaining content (Empty cans can be disposed of in the regular trash.)
  • Antifreeze maximum of 5 gallons
  • Different kind of batteries such as lithium-ion, lead-acid for vehicles, nickel-cadmium, uninterruptible power supplies, and tool batteries.
  • Brake fluids maximum of 5 gallons
  • Charcoal
  • Dioxins
  • Asbestos
  • Flammable liquids such as fuels and gasoline
  • Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
  • Items that contain mercury such as thermostats and thermometers
  • Nail polish and paints. (Only empty paint cans can be discarded in regular trash.)
  • Photographic and swimming pool chemicals
  • Used motor oil, hydraulic fluids, and kerosene maximum of 5 gallons

Here are some easy safety tips for handling your household hazardous wastes in Mobile, AL:

  • Follow the exact instructions for usage and proper storage which are often indicated on product labels. It is essential to keep this in mind to avoid the occurrence of accidents at home.
  • Make it a habit of reading product labels regarding the directions on how to dispose of a certain product to minimize the risk of explosion.
  • Do not store hazardous materials inside food containers. Leave them in their original containers and make sure not to remove the labels. But remember that corroding containers need special handling. Seek help from Mobile’s hazardous materials organization and fire agencies for official instructions.
  • Do not try to mix household hazardous wastes with other products as it might lead to explosions. There are products which are not compatible with each other and may react, and explode. Household hazardous wastes that are contaminated become unrecyclable.
  • Check with Mobile’s environmental and solid waste agency for their guidelines on handling any of your household hazardous wastes.
  • Mobile has a permanent collection site where you can drop off particular products at Mobile’s local businesses for proper disposal within their recycling process.
  • Know that empty containers of household hazardous wastes can bring dangers due to the residual chemicals that may remain, thus be cautious in handling them.

Minimizing Household Hazardous Wastes in Your Home

It’s a lot helpful to limit buying products that have hazardous ingredients. Gathering these materials at home may bring some environmental and health problems. So, consider using alternative methods and products free of hazardous components.

When purchasing items for your household usage such as toilet cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwashing machine gels and pads, dishwashing soaps, bug sprays, and some pesticides, always go for products that are environmentally friendly.

Choose natural products over those items with too many chemicals in them. You may search online for DIY simple recipes which you can use as an alternative in cleaning or any other tasks you have at home. For example, instead of using mothballs, you may use cedar chips, rosemary, lavender flowers, and mints.

Another option for a glass cleaner is to mix a tablespoon of vinegar (lemon juice is fine too) with one quart of water. Spray it on your glass table. You can use some newspaper to dry it.