Household hazardous waste


Many products can harm the environment upon disposal. The following items are considered toxic and must be disposed of specially:  

  • Acids / bases
  • Aerosol cans (non-empty)
  • Automotive products
  • Batteries (alkaline, Ni-CD, and Lithium)
  • Cell phones
  • Cleaning products
  • Computer / laptops / monitors
  • Electronics
  • Fertilizers / pesticides
  • Flammable liquids / solids
  • Fluorescent lights (compact and tubes)
  • Inks
  • Insecticides / herbicides / pesticides
  • Paint and painting supplies
  • Pharmaceutical waste
  • Photo chemicals
  • Sharps
  • Solvents
  • Thinner / varnish / stains

Less toxic alternatives

Many household cleaning products are toxic to you and your family. There are less toxic alternatives available that can be used throughout your home.

Basic ingredients for less toxic cleaning

  • Baking soda and Borax - cleans and deodorizes, and are also good scouring powders
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) - works like a disinfectant
  • Plain soap (liquid dish soap or bar soap) without fragrances or Triclosan - Castile Soap is a good liquid option
  • Scrub brush or green scrubbing pad
  • White vinegar and lemon juice - cuts grease and smells fresh

Air freshener

  • Leave open boxes / bowl of baking soda in refrigerator, closet, and bathroom.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in bottom of trash cans.

All purpose cleaner

  • Mix liquid soap with 1 tablespoon of baking soda; add lemon juice and water.
  • Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 part vinegar and 1/2 part water; add some lemon juice for fresh scent.

Carpet and upholstery cleaner

  • Mix 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon mild liquid soap, 1 teaspoon Borax, and a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar. Apply with a damp cloth or sponge and rub gently. Wipe with a clean cloth and allow to dry.

Carpet deodorizer

  • Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let it set overnight, or for as long as possible. Vacuum.

Drain opener

  • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour 2 quarts of boiling water down the drain.

Glass cleaner

  • Mix 1 quart water with 1/3 cup white vinegar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on surfaces and rub clean with a soft, lint-free cloth or newspaper.

Kitchen counter, floor and appliances

  • Use soapy water or soapy water mixed with vinegar.
  • Combine 1/2 part vinegar with 1/2 part water into a spray bottle.

Mold and mildew

  • To prevent or kill mold, mix 1 teaspoon tea tree oil per 2 cups of water. Apply with sponge.
  • Let vinegar sit on mold. Clean with soapy water.
  • To clean mildew from shower curtain, machine wash with 1/2 cup soap and 1/2 cup baking soda; add 1 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Oven cleaner

  • Mix 2 tablespoons liquid soap, 2 teaspoons Borax, and 1 quart warm water; leave on oven for 20 minutes, then scrub with non-chlorinated scouring powder.

Tile/grout cleaner

  • Combine 3 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water and scrub into the grout. Rinse well with water.

Toilet bowl cleaner

  • Pour 1/4 cup baking soda into bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Let sit for half hour, then brush.
  • Mix 1/2 cup Borax with 1 gallon of warm water. Works like a disinfectant and stain remover.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide.

Wood furniture and floor polish

  • Mix 2 parts vegetable oil with 1 part lemon juice. Rub mixture in and let stand. Then polish with a soft cloth.
  • Oil soap is a good option as well.