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Household Toxins

The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission promotes the proper management of household toxins in Black Hawk County. These items can be harmful to the environment and human health if they are not properly managed.

Household toxins (also known as “Household Hazardous Materials” or “HHMs”) are found in homes, basements, and garages. These materials can pose a threat to our health and safety and to the environment if not managed properly. Household products that are considered hazardous typically contain one or more Look for "signal words" on the packaging of household toxins.
“signal words” such as “Warning”, “Caution”, “Danger”, or “Poison” because they contain chemicals that are:

  • Toxic (poisonous)
  • Flammable (can burn easily)
  • Corrosive (can eat through materials)
  • Reactive (can explode or create poisonous vapors)

 

Avoid Purchasing Hazardous Cleaning Products

Many common household cleaning products can contain chemicals that are hazardous to our health and pollute the environment.

  • The EPA’s Safer Choice Standard certifies products that are safer for human health and the environment. Explore their interactive map or use their search box to find a wide variety of Safer Choice products for your home.Avoid household toxins and make your own cleaners from materials in your own kitchen!
  • You can make your own less toxic home cleansers with items you may already have in your kitchen cupboard.

 

Product Stewardship & Extended Producer Responsibility

Before purchasing hazardous chemicals, check with that retailer about their corporate Product Stewardship or Extended Producer Responsibility policies for the products they sell. Does their corporation offer a program to take back unused, unwanted, or out of date household toxins for disposal through their store?

 

Spring & Fall Drop-off Events for Household Toxins and Electronics

Household toxins and electronics are accepted at Commission-sponsored drop-off events.Twice per year, the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission subsidizes household toxic materials and electronics recycling drop-off events. BOTH events are open to ALL Black Hawk County residents, to get rid of approved items from their homes and garages.

The proper disposal of household toxins and the recycling of all electric/electronic items collected during these events is paid for by the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission, although some fees may apply for certain electronic items.

  • The Spring Drop-off Event is hosted at a City of Waterloo site.
  • The Fall Drop-off Event is hosted at a City of Cedar Falls site.
  • During each of the 5 hour long events, the Commission recruits volunteers to assist with unloading materials from 600-1,000 vehicles!

 

Managed Locally

Some household toxins can be managed on a daily basis in the Cedar Valley, in order to avoid waiting in line during a Commission-sponsored drop-off event (or manage between events). Also, materials such as paint, motor oil, and antifreeze are not accepted during drop-off events and must be managed locally.

 

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