Wait! Can I Throw This Away?

While many items come to landfills, there are some household items that may endanger Rumpke employees and the environment.

Please avoid placing the following items in your trash:

  • Adhesives
  • Paints
  • Paint thinners
  • Grease and rust solvents
  • Wood and metal cleaners
  • Nail polish and removers
  • Cosmetics
  • Household polishes and cleaners
  • Oven cleaners
  • Drain openers
  • Lighter Fluids
  • Fungicides and wood preservatives
  • Insecticides, herbicide
  • Used oil and oil filters
  • Fuel injection and carburetor cleaners
  • Antifreeze
  • Batteries
  • Broken thermometers
  • Rat poison
  • Pool chemicals

It is important to keep these items out of landfills because they can be harmful to the environment, and negatively influence the decomposition of garbage in the landfills. Unfortunately, these items do still end up at landfills, most often transported by garbage trucks.

In the back of a garbage truck, compactors crunch and smash garbage together, often causing hazardous items to combust and result in fire. Even the smallest hazardous item, like a battery, can be a major safety concern for the employee who is driving the truck to the landfill. To keep employees and the environment safe, hazardous wastes should be kept out of the garbage.

“With spring cleaning underway, we unfortunately experience an increase in load fires, putting our drivers and the surrounding community at risk,” said Bridgett Biggs, Cincinnati Regional Safety Manager.

Below are a few tips on what to do with your hazardous waste.

1. Reach out to your local solid waste district – Contact your local solid waste district for disposal options. Most solid waste districts have collection days where residents can dispose of hazardous waste properly.

2. Check the label – If a label says the item is “dangerous” or “poisonous”, then this is an indication of a hazardous waste. These labels are often found on household cleaners.

3. Think before you throw away – When throwing something away, ask yourself the question, “Could this be something hazardous?"

4. Check your service guidelines – New customers to Rumpke receive service guidelines that outline basic hazardous materials (car batteries, tires, combustible items) that shouldn’t be thrown away. Rumpke also has a list of service guidelines on our website and includes a list on the reverse side of all Rumpke invoices.

By keeping hazardous waste out of landfills, we can further improve environmental safety, while ensuring employee safety.

About the author: Robb Clark, Corporate Communications Assistant

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