How do I Know if a Product is Hazardous?
A product is considered hazardous if it is corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reacts or explodes when mixed with other substances. The federal government has established labeling requirements for consumer products containing hazardous substances. Watch out for signal words on labels such as poison, danger, warning, and caution. Click here to find out how to properly dispose of Household Hazardous Waste.
What’s Under Your Kitchen Sink?
Many common household products contain ingredients which can harm people, pets, and our environment if handled or disposed of improperly. Most homes in Charlotte County contain three to ten gallons of these hazardous products. These include everyday items such as paint, insecticides, cleaners, and automotive products. Even unused medications are hazardous. Click here to find out how to properly dispose of Household Hazardous Waste.
What are the Dangers of Improper Disposal?
Care must be taken to dispose of hazardous products in the proper way to reduce the environmental impact and safety hazards caused by disposal. Toxic products carelessly tossed in the trash, can injure sanitation workers, damage collection vehicles, or leak into the environment. Similarly, when dumped down the drain some products can cause water pollution, and damage plumbing and septic systems. Products poured on the ground or in a storm sewer pollute our water supply.
How to Dispose of Your Household Hazardous Waste
Antifreeze, Motor Oil and Used Oil Filters
Label and bring the anti-freeze to a Household Hazardous Waste collection in an original container or gallon milk jug. Do not pour into a storm drain or a septic system. Curbside motor oil, filters and non-leaking lead acid battery collection is available on your service day. As of July 6, 2009, orange colored stickers are no longer necessary for your used motor oil or oil filters to be picked up by Waste Management. Use a transparent gallon container (milk jug type) with a screw type lid for your oil and a clear plastic bag for your filters and place items 5 feet away from your garbage cart on your regular collection day. Many Auto Parts stores also take used oil.
Lead-Acid batteries from cars, boats, motorcycles, and lawnmowers can be recycled at your curb, taken to a retailer, or brought to a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Rechargeable batteries(NiCad) should not be thrown in the trash. Take to a retailer (like Radio Shack) or to a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Regular single use household batteries can be thrown in your trash.
Cleaners and Polishes
Use them up or give them to someone who can. Household cleaners can still be used even if they are several years old. You can also take them to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
Charlotte County residents can dispose of used cooking oil free of charge at both Mid-County and West Charlotte Mini-Transfer & Recycling Facilities.
Residents are encouraged to donate unwanted electronic equipment. To dispose of electronic equipment and televisions (e-waste) residents should call Waste Management at 941.629.1106 or fill out the Electronics (E-Waste) Pickup Request Form at least two days prior to their scheduled service day.
Gasoline, Kerosene and Diesel Fuel
Old gasoline/diesel and oil/gas mixtures can be used safely if first regenerated by mixing with fresh gasoline or fresh oil/gas mixtures. Boat owners may want to contact their harbor master for disposal. Old Kerosene can be regenerated by mixing with fresh kerosene. If the above is not desirable, you can bring the product to any Household Hazardous Waste collection in containers not larger than five gallons. Use caution when transporting these materials as they can be highly flammable.
Pesticides and Herbicides
The best way to get rid of these is to use them up according to the label directions, or give it to someone who can. If this is not possible, safely store it until there is a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
Try to use these up, and be careful not to mix acid with chlorine. Keep containers tightly sealed. If necessary, bring to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
Please bring devices containing this toxic metal to a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Items include fluorescent light tubes, thermometers.
Paint, Strippers, Stains and Varnishes
Usable paint can be used as a primer coat or given away. Small amounts of paint can hardened by taking the lid off to dry or by mixing with kitty litter. Dried paint can be safely disposed in your regular trash, just remember to leave the lid off. If you have cannot get rid of it using the above mentioned methods, take it to a Household Hazardous Waste collection. Try to use them up, and also try to use water based products. If you can’t use it up, then bring it to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
Syringes and Hypodermic Needles
There are three locations for County and City residents to pick up new and drop off used sharps containers:
Both County Mini-Transfer Facilities during their regular hours
City of Punta Gorda Fire Department office in the Public Safety Building at 1410 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This service is for residents only, businesses cannot participate. If you are unable to drive to the collection, call 941.764.4360. Sharps are the only biomedical waste accepted at the transfer facilities. NO "red bag" waste will be accepted. Please contact your medical facility for disposal instructions of these types of biohazardous waste.