What is Household Hazardous Waste?
July 1, 2016
Provided by Department of Environmental Quality and Chemical Tribal Emergency Response Commission
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) extends beyond items such as used motor oil, batteries and paint. HHW are products we purchase every day that contain materials that could harm us or the environment if improperly handled. Common products that could be HHW are pesticides, cleaners, paints, stains, personal care, and electronic products. Look for words such as ‘warning,’ ‘caution,’ ‘flammable,’ ‘toxic,’ ‘poison,’ etc., on the labels.
Many of these products are not used up and are stored in homes, basements and garages across the Community. While these products may be safe to use, we must remember that these same products are considered a hazardous waste, and the disposal of the leftover product must be handled properly.
HHW is sometimes disposed of improperly by individuals pouring wastes on the ground, down the drain, into storm sewers, or by putting them out with the trash. Improperly discarded household hazardous wastes have the potential to contaminate septic tanks or waste water treatment systems and may present hazards to children and pets.
If you use products with hazardous components, purchase and use only the amount needed. Leftover materials can be shared with neighbors or donated to a charity, business, or government agency.
Many communities have started special collection days or permanent collection sites for handling household hazardous waste. While the Gila River Indian Community does not currently offer a household hazardous waste collection day, surrounding communities and county agencies offer collection/disposal services.
Reach out to your Chemical Tribal Emergency Response Commission District Representative on more information on how you can help keep your family household safe and aware of what is being used in your home.
For additional information on the proper handling and disposal of HHW contact the GRIC Department of Environmental Quality Waste Program at (520) 562-2234 or www.gric.org.