5 Ways to Reduce Hazardous Waste

Here are five ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated in your home and the time you have to spend disposing of it.

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1. Clean Safer
You don’t bake with bleach, but did you know you don’t have to clean with it either? Many ingredients you cook with can also be used to clean your home. Think lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. For cleaning recipes, visit: smchealth.org/safercleaning

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2. Rethink Pesticides
Swap toxic pesticides for less-toxic alternatives. Look for this logo when purchasing pest control products at your local hardware store. For more information, visit: ourwaterourworld.org

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3. Ask for Re-Refined
When getting your next oil change, ask for re-refined oil. Re-refined oil is used motor oil that has been given a new life by being recycled and reprocessed. It’s even better than virgin oil because it saves the planet from having to deplete a non-renewable natural resource: fossil fuels.

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4. Purchase Rechargeables
Save thousands of single-use batteries by switching a few out for the rechargeable variety. Rechargeable batteries may cost more upfront, but last longer and can save you money in the long run.

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5. Look into LEDs
The next time your light burns out, consider switching to more energy efficient and mercury-free LED lights. LEDs also last longer than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly
Used, expired, unwanted, or leftover hazardous products don’t belong in the trash. Visit: smchealth.org/hhw to find out where these items go.

Reduce Hazardous Waste in Your Life

reducinghhwEach time you make an appointment to drop-off household hazardous waste through San Mateo County’s program you are protecting the environment. However, we all recognize it can be a burden to sort and shuffle all that waste into your car, make an appointment, and then drive to get rid of it! But what if we told you there was a way to reduce the amount of drop-off trips while also protecting the environment? Good news, there is a way!

If you reduce the amount of hazardous materials you purchase, the less waste you accumulate, and the less trips you have to make! Not only does it make your life more convenient, it’s safer, may save some cash, and does even more to save the environment.

Today there are so many less-toxic alternatives to replace products that end up as hazardous waste. Here are some to consider….

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How to Dispose of Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights come in all shapes and sizes. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are the smallest ones.

Fluorescent lights come in all shapes and sizes. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are the smallest ones.

Fluorescent lights may save you money on your electric bill, but once they burn out, you can’t toss them in the trash because the mercury contained in them is toxic, making burned-out fluorescent lights hazardous waste!

Fluorescent lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most popular being tube-shaped and the compact “curly” style. The tube-shape lights have been in use for many years, mostly in garages and commercial buildings. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) became a more recently popular product to replace the use of common incandescent lights. Many utility companies offered deep discounts to buy CFL’s because, according to Energy Star, they use about 70-90% less energy than traditional incandescent lights and last 10 to 25 times longer. But now the problems associated with disposal of these bulbs is causing the industry to develop new options. Continue reading