Waste Disposal


Rep. May 1995




WHEN IS A PRODUCT HAZARDOUS? Most household products are not harmful if used according to label directions. However, they can become harmful if used improperly, stored improperly, or if unused portions are disposed of improperly. HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS AND THE WASTE STREAM Most people dispose of hazardous products by throwing them in the trash, pouring them down the drain, burning them, pouring them in a ditch, dumping them on a vacant lot, or burying them in a field. These practices are dangerous. Waste from hazardous products can contaminate lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater (the places below the ground where water accumulates before it goes to a river, stream, or well). This can create serious problems for South Carolinians. Why? Because about 66 percent of the water South Carolinians use in their homes each day comes from surface water. The remaining 34 percent comes from groundwater. Often only a small amount of hazardous materials can cause serious problems. It only takes one gallon of oil to ruin one million gallons of water. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD WASTE IS ... 1. Thrown in the Garbage? Most of the residential trash in South Carolina is collected door-to-door or is taken to a transfer station by individuals. Ultimately the trash is taken to a county landfill. Most landfills are not designed for hazardous household wastes. These wastes can leak into water supplies and/or cause air pollution. Hazardous household waste may cause a fire or explosion, or give off dangerous fumes. Sanitation workers have been seriously burned, lost their eyesight, or suffered lung damage while compacting

hen you care for yourself, your family, home, car, yard, and garden, you use a variety of chemical products. Many of these products contain hazardous chemicals. When you no longer want these products, they become hazardous waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection...