Many Nebraskans are in the midst of major spring cleaning projects. Environmental advocate Tom Anderson is hoping they’ll avoid tossing everything in the trash or dumping dangerous liquids down the drain.
“The common perception is it’s just regular household trash, when in fact it’s not,” Anderson said. “There’s a whole host of things that can and have happened when household hazardous materials are mixed together.”
Things like batteries, TVs and computers can’t just be chucked in the garbage. Plus, he says common items, like home cleaning supplies, when combined, could endanger people and equipment.
“Incompatible materials certainly have caused fires,” Anderson says. “They can emit toxic vapors, which corrodes garbage truck equipment and the equipment out at the landfill. Certainly, the sanitation workers’ health is also a concern.”
According to Anderson, the first step in handling household hazardous materials is reading the product label. He says many products make household chores easier, but people should also take responsibility for proper storage and disposal.