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Water Quality Program - College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Household Hazardous Waste

Many common household products can actually be classified as hazardous waste! Protect your home and our water resources by learning how to dispose of toxic products carefully and how to make easy substitutions for those products.

What are household hazardous products?

A product is considered hazardous if it is corrosive, explosive, flammable, or if it contains toxic chemicals or any other potentially harmful materials. Household hazardous products that are improperly used, stored, or disposed of can enter groundwater and surface water supplies and can be harmful to your health.  A variety of household products are considered hazardous or dangerous if mixed with our drinking water sources, examples include:

  • Cleaning Products bleach, oven, drain, toilet and shower cleaners
  • Automotive Products motor oil, fuel additives, starter fluids, automotive batteries, antifreeze, transmission and brake fluid
  • Lawn and Garden Products fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides
  • Indoor Pesticides ant and cockroach sprays and bait, flea repellants and shampoos, bug sprays, mouse and rat poisons and baits
  • Workshop Supplies adhesives and glues, oil/enamel based paint, stains and finishes, paint thinners and turpentine, and other solvents
  • Flammable Products propane tanks and other compressed gas cylinders, kerosene, home heating fuel, diesel fuel, gas/oil mix, and lighter fluid
  • Unused Medicines and Personal Care Products prescriptions and over the counter products, vitamins and supplements, cosmetics and sunscreen
  • Miscellaneous batteries, mercury thermometers or thermostats, fluorescent or energy-efficient light bulbs

What can you do with household hazardous products?

  • Choose non-hazardous alternatives
  • Buy only what you need and share excess useable products with friends and neighbors
  • Follow proper disposal instructions
    • For household hazardous waste read the label or use RI Eco-Depot.
    • For unused medicines and personal care products ask your pharmacist or see disposal suggestions here.
    • Dispose of unused medicines at a community drug take back event.  See schedule here.

For more information:

 

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