Be aware of hazardous materials while spring cleaning

Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-09 00:42:08-04

With many Utahns getting ready for spring cleaning, officials are warning homeowners to be aware of some household items that can't be thrown away.

Items like old paint, oil, petroleum products, fluorescent light bulbs and prescriptions could mean big problems for the environment if not properly disposed of.

"Things you really don't want to throw in your dumpster," said Lance Madigan, Utah Co. Health Dept. "Most of this stuff just can't go into the landfill. We don't want to get this stuff into our waterways and into our soils."

Instead of tossing them in the dumpster, officials recommend sending hazardous materials to designated disposal sites. Some police departments will accept old prescriptions year-round and landfills can take hazardous items and e-waste and put them in an appropriate disposal site.

"We separate it. It ends up being recycled or being put in a better place so it's not going to cause a problem where it leaks into the environment," said Madigan.

Items that can't go into landfills include:

- Medications
- Gas
- Antifreeze
- Electronics
- Smoke Detectors
- Batteries
- Paints and Paint Thinners
- Pesticides
- Fluorescent Light Bulbs
- Items containing mercury
- Aerosol Cans