Environmental Toxins - Collection Days
Many of the consumer products lining the shelves of supermarkets, hardware stores and home centers promise to make our lives easier, but in many cases the chemicals they contain are extremely toxic to humans and the environment. They can be caustic, flammable, chemically reactive or even carcinogenic. Pesticides, drain and oven cleaners, paint strippers, oil-based paint and heavy-duty solvents are some of the most dangerous of these items, and helping residents dispose of them properly can be a challenge.
An effective toxics collection program consists of an educational outreach campaign conducted through print and electronic media to encourage the use of environmentally preferable/non-toxic/low toxicity products, the establishment of a regular and frequent schedule of collection days, and the convenient siting of collection locations to encourage resident participation.
Who's Doing It Right
The City of Fort Worth's award-winning regional collection programs help citizens of Fort Worth and participating cities dispose of household hazardous waste.
The Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Washington boasts an extensive web site on Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). It identifies over 80 different hazardous products, and for each lists potential hazards, harmful ingredients, safer alternatives, and proper disposal practices.
The Sonoma County, California Waste Management Agency has great information on toxics recycling in English and Spanish.