Many products found in your kitchen, bathroom, garage or garden shed are potentially hazardous substances. Because of their chemical nature they can poison, corrode, explode or burst into flame when handled improperly. When discarded, they are household hazardous wastes.
Motor oil, paints, pesticides, antifreeze, wood preservatives, batteries and many household cleaners contain solvents, petroleum products, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals. When these products are dumped in the trash or poured down the drain, their hazardous chemicals can injure people or contaminate drinking water sources.
DO NOT dispose of hazardous waste in the trash, down the drain, onto the ground or on the street. All of these methods may result in health and/or environmental problems.
DO NOT store corrosives, flammables and poisons together. Separate these containers.
DO NOT repackage chemical products in containers that are normally used for products or soft drinks. Children have died from drinking chemicals stored in soft drink bottles.
The National Institute of Health provides health and safety information on common household chemicals. Learn more about what's under your sink or in your garage!
Residents and businesses may drop off hazardous waste at the Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management (HMM) Facility located at 1901 63rd St., west (behind) of the Boulder County Recycling Center. Open Wednesday – Saturday, 8:30 am –4 pm. Free for residents. Businesses must call and set up an appointment. Visit the HMM Facility’s website or call 720.564.2251 for more information.
Before you buy a product, read the label carefully. Make sure you know what you are purchasing.
- Choose products with child-resistant packaging.
- Buy only the amount you need. Reduce or eliminate the disposal problem.
- Select the least toxic products available. Choose non-toxic alternatives when you can.
- Use multi-purpose products whenever available.
- Store all toxic products away from children and pets in safe, tight containers.
- Follow label directions. Use only what is needed. Twice as much does not mean twice the results.
- Never mix different products. Explosive or poisonous chemical reactions may occur.
- Always store leftovers in the original container with the original label.
- Never eat, drink or smoke when handling hazardous materials.
Synthetic detergents cause more poisonings than any other household product. Even phosphate-free, biodegradable laundry detergent contributes to water pollution.
Baking soda and water is safer cleaner than diluted bleach. Use borax or soda to whiten. Borax is a good grease cutter.
Use ammonia only when other cleansers won't do the trick. Ammonia cuts heavy grease and grime but can be dangerous. Fumes irritate eyes and lungs and can be harmful to people with respiratory problems. Always provide good ventilation. Never mix ammonia with bleach or commercial cleansers - deadly fumes may form.