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What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?

What is HHW?

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as leftover household products that are toxic, corrosive, or can catch fire, react, or explode.

Products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients that require special care when storing or disposing of. These products can present hazards to children and pets if stored improperly or left around the house. To avoid the potential risks, it is important to monitor the use, storage, and disposal of products with potentially hazardous ingredients.

Improper disposal of HHW can include pouring them down the drain, onto the ground, into storm sewers, or even putting them out with the regular trash. This waste can pollute the environment and pose a threat to public health. Certain types of HHW have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers or damage landfill liners. They can contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and they can contaminate groundwater that affects our drinking water and the environment of our rivers and streams if poured onto the ground.

Putting waste in its place protects you — and everyone else, too.