Vol.1 No.1

    January 1996

Household Hazardous Waste

The Bathurst Sustainable Development Project Helpful Guide Series

What is Household Hazardous Waste, exactly?

Simply put, household hazardous waste is the residue of potentially harmful substances you use in your home. They usually are:

  • Corrosive: Burns skin;
  • Flammable: Ignites easily;
  • Reactive: Explosive; and
  • Toxic: Poisonous to humans

    Do I really need to use this stuff?

    Some examples of hazardous wastes you may find around your house:

    Antifreeze, batteries, chlorine bleach, drain openers, flea collars, gasoline, corrosive chemicals, motor oil, nail polish remover, paint, pesticides, rust removers, swimming pool chemicals.

    Ask yourself 3 important questions when thinking of these products:

    Ok, I have waste. Now what do I do with it? 1
    Determined to clean up this spring? This list of depots may help: 2
    Recipes: Hazardous Product Alternatives 2
    • Do I really need to use this product?
      Old fashioned ways are easier, cheaper and safer.

      How much do I really need?
      Try to buy just enough to finish the job. Share with a friend!

      How will I dispose of this when I am finished?
      Is it worth all the hassle involved in getting rid of it?

      Ok, I have waste. Now what do I do with it?

      Our project is hoping to have a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day sometime this spring. In the meantime, wait for our announcement and please follow these general guidelines:


    • Store hazardous products in their original containers so that the handling and disposal instructions on labels can be followed.
    • Store in well-ventilated areas where children cannot reach them.

      Disposal (paint, spot removers, carpet and furniture cleaners, polishes and glues)

      Use absorbent material such as kitty litter, sand or sawdust mixed into the original containers. Containers should be sealed, placed in bags and disposed of with your ordinary garbage.

      Disposal (starter and lighter fluid, gasoline and furnace oil)

      First, try to use up all the contents. The empty containers should then be tightly sealed and disposed with the ordinary garbage.

      Disposal (prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs)

      Leftovers should be flushed down the toilet. This is the only exception to the rule of never flushing dangerous chemicals down drains. If you have a septic system, however, do not follow this. Antibiotics can destroy the necessary bacteria in your septic system. If you are connected to a septic system, antibiotics should be