Is Your Household Waste a Hazard for Our Watersheds?

Throwing away trash around the house is an everyday task. We can mindlessly separate waste from recyclables and locate nearby wastebaskets in most public spaces. However, did you know that common household items are hazardous to the watershed? When thrown away improperly, pollutants can get into our storm drains and stream right into our watersheds.

To learn more about how to dispose of household hazardous waste properly, the Riverside County Department of Waste Resources has a great resource on their web site: https://www.rcwaste.org/hhw. A few examples are below:

  • Cleaning Products – It is important not drain them in the sink, toilet, and storm drains. Read the label for proper disposal and recycle any leftover containers. To further protect the watershed, check the label for natural ingredients.
  • Car Fluids – Fluids that are commonly used for our vehicles such as fuel or oil are extremely toxic to our watershed. Always take used oil to a certified collection center. Click here to find the nearest one near you.
  • Batteries – If the item you are throwing away requires batteries, be sure to remove the battery from product before tossing it. Batteries are made up of toxic chemicals that are harmful to people and to waterways and must be disposed of at a certified recycle facility. Go here to find the nearest recycle center.
  • Light Bulbs – Certain fluorescent light bulbs contain toxic chemicals such as mercury. Instead of throwing light bulbs away when they burn out, you can recycle them. Go here for here to see which types of light bulbs can be recycled and where to take them.

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