When used, stored and disposed per label directions, most household products like cleaners, beauty products, medicines, auto fluids, paint and lawn care products pose little hazard to people or to the environment. However, these products may become dangerous and hazardous when used, stored or disposed of carelessly.
When thrown in with the regular trash, household hazardous waste can injure sanitation workers. In addition, the hazardous waste may end up in landfills not intended or permitted for those type of wastes which could in turn impact groundwater. When poured on the ground, household hazardous waste may seep into and contaminate our groundwater or the ocean we swim in.
When flushed down a toilet, sink or drain, household hazardous waste goes through the sewage system to treatment plants not equipped to handle hazardous waste. At treatment plants, hazardous waste interferes with the biological treatment process by killing bacteria and contaminating the effluent that runs into the ocean and the biosolids which cannot then be reused as fertilizer.
When hazardous waste is thrown on the street, it goes down storm drains leading into our area waterways, impacting the Pacific Ocean, our lakes, and our local beaches. Improper use, storage and disposal of household hazardous products can potentially harm our families, children, and pets, pollute our neighborhoods and contaminate our ground, water and air.