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Our own personal hazardous waste

July 20, 2009

It’s time for another random sampling from 1001 little ways to save the planet.  Today’s tip is 69. At your disposal:

Never throw toxic household waste that may contain solvents, such as paint thinner and cleaner, in the garbage or sink.  Check with your local government facilities for hazardous-waste disposal options.

Here is an area that local government facilities could sure improve on – at least my local government facilities.  Once or twice a year the county hosts a household hazardous waste clean up day.  In the past, people have waited in line for hours to dispose of their left over paints and cleaners.  Our county had one last month, while we were 1000 miles away. 

Meanwhile can upon can and bottle upon bottle of cleaners, solvents, and paints get stored in my basement and garage.  Now I have made great strides in reducing my purchase of would-be hazardous waste products.  When I buy paint I buy low or no VOC paints and paint strippers.  My cleaners are all non-toxic and are often just vinegar. But I still have a considerable number of old cans of various paints and chemicals from my less consistently green days.  With so few clean up days offered and so little chance between kids’ sports events and other responsibilities on weekends to actually be available on clean up days these containers may end up hanging around for several more years.  I hope your situation is better – is it?

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