Household hazardous waste
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Household hazardous waste (HHW), sometimes called retail hazardous waste, is post-consumer waste which qualifies as hazardous waste when discarded. It includes household chemicals and other substances for which the owner no longer has a use, such as consumer products sold for home care, personal care, automotive care, pest control and other purposes. These products exhibit many of the same dangerous characteristics as fully regulated hazardous waste due to their potential for reactivity, ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or persistence. Examples include drain cleaners, oil paint, motor oil, antifreeze, fuel, poisons, pesticides, herbicides and rodenticides, fluorescent lamps, lamp ballasts, smoke detectors, medical waste, some types of cleaning chemicals, and consumer electronics (such as televisions, computers, and cell phones).
Certain items such as batteries and fluorescent lamps can be returned to retail stores for disposal. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) maintains a list of battery recycling locations and your local environmental organization should have list of fluorescent lamp recycling locations.
HHW is not regulated by the EPA. Many states and local solid waste management departments have created and funded Household Hazardous Waste facilities as well as one day collection events to offer safe disposal options for homeowners.
Although U.S. state and federal regulations continue to permit homeowner disposal of some household hazardous waste into the solid waste stream, state agencies are becoming more stringent in enforcing existing hazardous waste regulations at the retail level.
In Florida, and in other United States states, responsibility for proper disposal of retail hazardous waste falls upon the generator. It cannot be disposed of through the typical solid waste stream, but must be transported in accordance with DOT and EPA (RCRA) regulations to a properly permitted TSDRF (Treatment Storage Disposal and/or Recycling Facility). California has introduced an Electronic Waste Recycling Act.
Similar regulations, such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive are being introduced in the countries of the European Union.
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