Careful use and disposal of home toxics is easy, keeps your home safe, and helps protect the Huron River!
Save time and money by planning your projects in advance and purchasing only the products you need to get the job done. You will reduce unwanted home toxics, helping to keep your home safe while protecting the environment.
Learn to identify home toxics
Check labels carefully, including directions for use and words of caution.
|Home & Hobby
asphalt or roofing tar
paint thinners and solvents
varnishes and refinishers
|Yard & Garden
herbicides (weed killer)
Less is more.
The next time you are tempted to “save money” by purchasing the jumbo-sized container, remember that you will have the long term “cost” of proper home toxics storage and disposal. Follow the manufacturers’ directions for use and do not over-apply home toxics of any kind. You can reduce the likelihood of harm to yourself and environmental contamination by carefully following the guidelines and minimizing the frequency and amount of any applications.
Make a clean sweep.
Use a broom, not a hose, to clean up spills.
Maintain your car.
Repair any automotive fluid leaks right away. Use a drip pan to catch leaks if repairs are delayed. Collect and dispose of fluids from routine maintenance properly (motor oil, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid). Contact your County Health Department or a local service center if you need assistance.
Store home toxics properly.
Select cool, dry storage areas. Always keep products in the original container. Store solvents outside your home if possible, in a secure storage area. Protect products from freezing when necessary. Check containers periodically for leaks. Make certain animals and children cannot access home toxics.
Dispose of home toxics properly.
Remember don’t dump it if you wouldn’t drink it.
- Contact your County Health Department for guidelines and household hazardous waste disposal sites.
- Do not pour toxics down household drains.
- Do not pour anything down a storm drain or into a ditch.
- Do not place home toxics in the trash.
Improper disposal of home toxics contaminates ground and surface water, and jeopardizes drinking water supplies.
Link to the Riversafe Homes survey, see more tips for your household and order the Washtenaw County Water Resources Riversafe Homes brochure and decal.
Resources for River Friendly Home Care
- HRWC’s Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Alternatives
- Homemade Cleaners from the Michigan State University Extension
- “Clean & Green” by Annie Berthold-Bond, available on Amazon.com
- Sustainable Communities Network (SCN)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) Labeling Program