Many hazardous household products such as old medicine, CFL bulbs, electronics, paint and stain that can be harmful to either the environment of human health should be carefully disposed of in the correct manner. Many people do not know how to dispose of old medicine, nor do they realize that it should be discarded in a specific way.
For medications which are extremely harmful or fatal to pets or humans it is recommended that they be flushed down the sink or toilet. Some of these medications include Morphine sulfate, Oxycodone, Percocet, Demerol and Oxycontin. You can also bring old medication which is expired or unwanted to a medicine take bake program as well where they will properly dispose of them for you. If you cannot find a medicine take bake program you can also properly dispose of old medicine by first placing it in a Ziploc baggie with a substance which is especially unpalatable such as coffee grounds or kitty litter.
Because CFL bulbs contain mercury which is harmful to human and pets if ingested or inhaled, it is essential that you understand how to properly dispose of CFL bulbs. Recycling of CFL bulbs is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency as a way to reduce mercury pollution as well as aid in the recycling of glass and metal which are also contained within. Depending on your location there may be curbside pickups or local drop off centers where you can bring broken and unwanted CFL bulbs. If a recycling program is not available, many hardware stores also offer recycling programs for CFL bulbs as well. Large chains such as Menards, Lowes and Ace hardware have stores nationwide which may offer a similar recycling program. Although not all locations may offer this, so it is best to call ahead.
Electronics such as computers contain materials which can be harmful to humans, pets and the environment if they end up in a landfill. For this reason, it is imperative that you know how to properly dispose of electronics. Many companies offer recycling programs as a way to help reduce the amount of electronics that end up in landfills such as Best Buy who offers a recycling program at all of their US based stores for consumers. You can also choose to donate your used, broken and unwanted electronics so that they can be refurbished and reused by someone in need. Some electronic manufacturers also offer free recycling of their products such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and LG electronics.
Household paint can be very bad for the environment if it is discarded with household trash ending up in landfills. Therefore, you need to know how to properly dispose of paint so that you are not further contaminating the environment. First you need to identify what type of paint you have; there are two basic types of paint latex and oil based. Latex based paint although not harmful should not be disposed of in liquid form and should first be allowed to dry out before disposing of. You can accelerate this drying process by adding kitty litter, dry cement or some other compound into the paint. For oil based paints which contain harmful contaminants you must locate a disposal recycling center near you. Home improvement stores in your area may offer this type of paint recycling programs.
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