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What Is Hazardous Waste

What is Hazardous Waste?

If a material has any one of the following properties then it is considered Hazardous.


If you are going to use a hazardous product, follow these safety guidelines.

  • Read the labels before you buy. Products labeled POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION are hazardous.
  • Buy only what you will need. Before you buy a hazardous product find out if there is a safer alternative.
  • Use the right amount. Follow label directions.
  • Do not mix products. Mixing products can cause an explosion or other dangerous chemical reaction.
  • Wear proper protection. This may include gloves, goggles, rubber boots, etc. Check the label for specific information.
  • Ensure good ventilation. Keep windows and doors open. Work outside, if possible. If you wear contact lenses remove them before starting to work with hazardous material, they can trap vapors against the eye.
  • Store products safely. Well-ventilated, cool, dry areas are best. To help prevent accidents:
    1. Seal lids/caps tightly
    2. Store products in a secure area, away from children and pets
    3. Label products clearly. Store them in their original containers, if possible.
  • Always clean up afterwards. Wash, with warm soapy water, tools and surfaces after you finish working. Wash your hands thoroughly, too.


Disposing of Hazardous Waste

  • Take material to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center located at 923 Wilkes Road, Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Follow label instructions. Some products (dried paint, for example) can be put out with the trash. Other products should be wrapped in newspaper and then can be put out with the trash. If you are unsure, take the material to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.
  • Contact a private disposal company. These companies charge a fee but they will safely dispose of the hazardous waste.
  • Recycle it. Many hazardous materials can be broken down and used to make new products.
  • Do Not drain your antifreeze on the ground. Instead, drain it into a leak-proof container and take it to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.
  • Do Not burn or dump down a drain any gasoline or fuel. Take it to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. Container must be left at site.
  • A simple way to dispose of the hazardous waste is to use it up. Many household products have a long shelf life and may still work well years after they were bought.
  • Many pesticide containers may be rinsed three times and the rinse water can be reused as a pesticide. Check label.
  • Check with friends, neighbors or community organizations, they may be able to use your products.


Our Planet:

  1. Most chemicals should not be poured down the drain. Hazardous chemicals that cannot be removed or broken down by water treatment plants may end up in nearby lakes, rivers and streams. Hazardous chemicals in septic systems can affect the health of the soil nearby - and make the septic system less efficient.
  2. Storm drains are for rain. In many areas, these drains feed into streams, ponds and lakes. Chemical waste dumped into storm drains usually goes untreated. It can end up in our drinking water and harm wildlife and plants.
  3. Aerosols pollute the air we breathe. Aerosols often contain dangerous chemicals, such as methylene chloride, which can cause cancer and nerve damage.
  4. Appliances may contain hidden hazards. Some appliances may pollute the environment with hazardous materials if they are not disposed of properly. Many older refrigerators and air conditioners use Freon, which is a gas that can further damage the ozone layer if released into the air.


Our Health:

  1. Repeated or excessive contact with hazardous household materials may lead to: Lung problems,  brain and nerve damage, depression, cancer and death
  2. If you are pregnant and have repeated or excessive contact with hazardous materials you may risk birth defects in your unborn baby.


Facts about Hazardous Waste:

  • Do not dispose of any hazardous waste in your trash.
  • A typical household, in the U.S., averages 60-100 pounds of products that contain hazardous materials.
  • Used motor oil makes up 20-25 percent, paint and paint products make up 30-35 percent, and solvents, automotive products, pesticides, pool chemicals, home maintenance and cleaning products, and hobby and art supplies make up the remainder of the hazardous waste generated by a typical household.
  • Improperly disposed of household chemicals cause frequent fires in dumpster and trash collection trucks. By utilizing the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center, residents can dispose of hazardous material safely.
  • Pesticide runoff is one of the greatest threats to water quality nationwide.


How many hazardous products are in your home and are there safer alternatives to any of them?

Many of the household products you use every day contain hazardous chemicals. This page lists of some common hazardous products. Items that have safer alternatives are underlined - click on the item and an alert window will open describing the alternative! (Click OK in the alert box to close that window.)

Kitchen Bathroom Laundry Room
Oven Cleaner Toilet bowl cleaner Detergent
Drain cleaner/declogger Hair color Chlorine bleach
Floor-care products Aerosol deodorant Spot remover
General Household Some cosmetics Softener
All purpose cleaner Medications Spray starch
Ammonia-based cleaner Workshop Garage
Furniture polish Paint Motor oil/oil filter
Mothballs Glue/adhesive Gasoline
Some air fresheners Varnish Antifreeze
Deodorizer Paint thinner/turpentine Car batteries
Flea and tick powder Stain/finish Lighter fluids
Metal cleaner Furniture stripper Pool chemicals
Household batteries Hand cleaner Indoor pesticides
Disinfectant Garden pesticides Insect poisons
Glass cleaner Fungicides Fly sprays
Carpet/upholstery cleaner Herbicides/weed killers Houseplant insecticides
  Insecticides Mouse/rat poisons
  • Contact Us

    Phone: 910-321-6920
    Solid Waste Management:

    698 Ann St
    Fayetteville, NC 28301

    cumberland clean logo  
    Fax: 910-321-6840
    Director: Amanda L. Bader, PE

    Contact Us

    Phone: 910-321-6920
    Fax: 910-321-6840
    Director: Amanda L. Bader, PE
    Solid Waste Management:

    698 Ann St
    Fayetteville, NC 28301

    cumberland clean logo