The improper disposal of hazardous household waste, or HHW, can result in contaminated wastewater treatment facilities or septic systems, physical injuries to sanitation workers, unexpected releases of toxins and environmental pollution. Hazardous household waste, such as corrosive products, can possibly interact with certain food items in garbage and ignite or explode. Private individuals in the United States can generate more than 1.5 millions tons of hazardous household waste each year.
Certain consumer products, including solvents, paints, fertilizers, pesticides, disinfectants and fuels, can contain hazardous substances. When such products are placed in municipal waste systems, they can result in an actual or potential release of dangerous materials and require neutralization, clean-up or removal. To minimize the risks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encourages private individuals to read product labels to determine the proper method of disposal.