This Halloween season, you may have seen toxic waste barrels on display as scary decorations or hazmat suits on sale as costumes. The truth is, Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is no joke!
Hazardous chemicals could be lurking under your sink and in your garage. What is HHW? Household Hazardous Waste is any product labeled: toxic, poison, corrosive, flammable or irritant. Products like these can’t be thrown in the regular trash, or even in the recycling bin because they can seep into our groundwater supplies, causing contamination of our drinking water. Even products like pesticides or pool chemicals that might get washed off a lawn, sidewalk or driveway can pose a risk to waterways from water that is carried from storm drains and gutters into the ocean.
But HHW isn’t just confined to household cleaners and liquids like paint. Even everyday items like batteries, CFL (or “curlicue”) light bulbs, and electronics have poisonous chemicals like mercury that have to be disposed of properly.
The good news is that L.A. County residents have many ways they can recycle these common, household items. One way is to bring your hazardous items to a local HHW Roundup Event. HHW Roundups are held in a different city in the County every weekend, and rotate among all the Cities to provide coverage to everyone in L.A. County. There’s probably an HHW collection event coming up soon near you!
HHW collection events are sponsored jointly by Los Angeles County and the Sanitation Districts. To find a local HHW collection event near you, check the LA County Department of Public Works’ online schedule.
L.A. County also has seven permanent S.A.F.E. centers. SAFE stands for Solvents, Automotive, Flammables, Electronics. At these permanent collection centers, City and County residents can recycle their HHW and E-Waste for free. This includes motor oil, paint, SHARPs, expired medications, batteries, and more. Most centers are open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am–3pm (see locations for specific details). Visit the LA County Sanitation website for more details.
If thinking about getting rid of household cleaners, automotive fluids and other hazardous waste sends a shiver down your spine, make use of these resources to #recycle this holiday season.