Do you know how to dispose of your household hazardous waste products? Never dispose household toxic trash down the sink, on the ground, down a storm drain or in your garbage can. Check out these helpful tips from the Oregon Environmental Council and learn the proper way to dispose of these products.
CFL Light bulbs: CFL light bulbs contain a tiny amount of mercury, so they should be properly disposed of at household hazardous waste collection site. Some home improvement stores, such as Ikea, Lowes and Home Depot also have drop-off boxes for CFL bulbs.
Batteries: Batteries can be disposed of as hazardous waste, or better yet, recycled. Spent non-rechargable household batteries may be recycled at stores that specialize in batteries, such as Batteries Plus, and many waste transfer or recycling centers will also take them. Rechargable batteries can be recycled at many home improvement stores such as Lowes or Home Depot, in addition to the same places where non-rechargable batteries are accepted.
Paint: In 2009 Oregon became the first state in the nation to require paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover paint. Oregon's paint stewardship program, PaintCare, enables you to drop off leftover paint for recycling at convenient paint retail locations across the state. Visit PaintCare to find one near you.
Pharmaceuticals: Unwanted medications should never be flushed down the toilet, where they end up tainting our rivers and streams. Many police departments now offer anonymous drop box locations for unwanted meds, where they will be safely incinerated. Find a drop box near you. The drop boxes are located at police stations because only law enforcement officials can legally possess controlled substances that have been prescribed to someone else. For this same reason, household hazardous waste sites cannot accept controlled substances as defined by the federal Drug Enforcement Authority.
Products with "caution", "warning" or "danger" on the label: Cleaning products, pesticides and herbicides, solvents and other household chemicals that say "caution," "warning" or "danger" on the label should be disposed of as household hazardous waste.
Wondering about something not on the above list? Check Metro's website. You can also call 503-234-3000 to get your recycling and hazardous waste questions answered.