An Introduction to Household Cleaner Recycling

Okay, you tried that new carpet cleaner and it was junk. So, you tossed the bottle to the back of the kitchen cabinet and there it has stayed for the last two years. You hear that your local transfer station is having a “hazardous waste” day and you wonder if that bottle of cruddy floor cleaner qualifies. In a word: YES!


Is a Household Cleaner Hazardous?

Almost all household cleaning products are considered hazardous waste when they are being thrown away instead of being used for their intended purposes. This is a very enlightening thing for people to hear because it often helps them to begin making healthier choices for their household cleaning needs.

Floor cleaners, surface cleaners, toilet and tub cleaners, furniture waxes, and all of the other bottles and cans that you find tucked under the kitchen sink or stored in the closet will tend to contain environmental toxins. The reasons that you can use them in your home are simple – they are meant to be diluted, and most bottles or packages tell you to wear protective gloves and be aware of spills.

What Ways Do I Treat Household Cleaner?

Yes, many of these products are washed down the drain, but this is where the power of dilution is meant to reduce or neutralize the threats or risks of these compounds. When they remain undiluted and in their original packaging they are often very potent and potentially harmful to you and the environment.

To recycle any of these products requires knowledge of your local hazardous waste system. Whether your transfer station has a year-round facility for hazardous waste or schedules a single weekend for people to drop off their properly packaged products is not important. What is important is that you ensure that each item is completely sealed, positioned upright in a safe and waterproof carrier, and then handed directly to the experts who know how to “sort” the household cleaner products properly.