Are You a Hazardous Waste Case?
If you think that industrial dumps are the only cause of toxic
pollution, think again. Consumers don't realize that some common
household products can become hazardous waste when dumped down
the drain or thrown into the trash. To avoid becoming a mini-
polluter, remember the three Rs--Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Paint Packrats... get real. Too many trips to the home
improvement center can turn your basement into a chemical storage
bin. If those cans of chartreuse semi-gloss are still sitting
around half-empty, it's time to liquidate your stockpile in the
environmentally-correct way--at your local household hazardous
waste day. Many localities sponsor free cleanup days once or
twice a year at convenient drop-off points. Get rid of old
solvents, cleaners, and pesticides while you're at it.
Reduce: Buy just enough to complete the project. Avoid using the
hard stuff--choose water-based latex instead of oil-based paint.
Latex comes in varieties designed for all applications, and it
cleans up in water so you won't have to use toxic paint thinners
Reuse: Donate your unwanted paints to a local church or community
It Just Keeps on Going, and Going.... Battery addicts burning
energy in toys, appliances, or game systems are prime candidates
for waste reduction. Consider using rechargable batteries
instead of throw-aways.
Reuse: Do-it-yourself, shadetree mechanics need to be conscious
of their disposal practices, too. Take used motor oil to the
local quick-lube shop or gas station that accepts this recyclable
Reduce: Don't fall for the "more-is-better" misconception with
regard to pesticides. Apply in the amount specified on the
label. Be sure to follow all label directions carefully because
they contain procedures for reducing health and environmental