Monday, May 10, 2010

Proper Disposal

This week features a reminder of how to properly dispose of common household wastes.

Do not flush or pour prescription drugs, other medications, or tablets down the toilet, sink, or drain. Many times the pharmaceuticals will mix with ground water.

Instead put your drugs in the trash. Be sure to safeguard your pets and children in the process. I suggest putting them in the trash the day it gets picked up. Or you can put them in a sealable plastic bag or an empty sealable can/bottle. If medication is a solid, crush it or add water to the container to dissolve the medication. You can also mix the medications with kitty litter, sawdust, or coffee grounds.

In my area you dispose of non-rechargeable batteries in the garbage. But I would suggest calling your local hazardous waste facility to find out if that's okay in your area.

Rechargeable batteries, button batteries (found in watches), lithium batteries (found in cell phones), and car/motorcycle batteries must be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. Many places that replace button batteries, lithium batteries, or car/motorcycle batteries will dispose of your batteries properly for you free of charge. I suggest making sure, but generally they do. These batteries contain heavy metals that will leach into the ground water if they are disposed of improperly (in your regular garbage for example).

Other household wastes that must be brought to a Hazardous Waste Facility include:
Automotive fluids
engine oil fluids
cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, and any product that contains them
drain openers (drain-o for example)
cooking oil (although the animal fats I save in glass jars and toss in general trash, this should not be poured down the drain because it attracts vermin and clogs the drains)
mercury containing products
Fluorescent bulbs/lamps (incandescents are safe to dispose in general trash in my area)
paint products
hobby chemicals
lawn and garden products
pool chemicals
propane cylinders
computer equipment
computer parts
printer cartridges
any items labeled: acid, flammable, caustic, poison, caution, toxic, danger or warning

I contacted my garbage dump and they said that it was totally fine to dispose of dirty diapers in general garbage. Although one particular brand, Parent's Choice, says that you should dispose of poop in the toilet. Pampers does not have that on it's package and I haven't called them yet to ask why. So it seems that they encourage parents to dump out the poop in the toilet, but that it's not required (at least not in my area). According the wikipedia entry for diaper, putting poop in the toilet is what parents are supposed to be doing, but in general it is put in the garbage with the rest of the diaper. I'll let you know what Pampers says, but I think that it is better to put the poop in the toilet as the Parent's Choice and internet suggests.

Sorry have a crying baby. He's so very tired.


  1. Thanks I was wondering on some of those and hadn't looked them up yet. I've found the same info on the diapers... We didn't use Pampers long (the ones we were given seemed to fall apart) so they were long gone by the time I found that out and never looked on their bag. Every other bag I looked at has it though... and several places online say that it is required. Interesting that your dump says its ok though.

  2. Yeah. She kinda answered the question too quickly which makes me think that she's never heard of it so it doesn't matter or she has and already knew the answer. Hubby says he's heard the reason is because it degrades faster than other garbage and can cause land slides in the land fill.

  3. The reason I've heard is health risks from it... Either way it kinda bothers me. On one hand it is gross to think about it being in one but on the other if you already have to clean it out then what's the point of a disposable?


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