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16

The Plain Talk Series - #23

posted on

Today's question: What household chemicals can I safely pour down the sink or into the toilet?

Plain Talk answer: Before you think about what you can throw away, think about what you are buying. Start by buying environmentally friendly products whenever possible. Next, try to buy just what you need so you won't have any or much left to dispose of. Finally, check with you local solid waste department or similar agency to learn of local rules and hazardous waste collection days. In Canada, the local sewer-use ordinances control disposal in most municipalities.

If your home is on a public wastewater system, these liquids can safely be poured down a drain at a time when you have using a lot of water (such as washing clothes) to help dilute the wastes:
Aluminum cleaners
Ammonia-based cleaners
Drain cleaners
Windows cleaners
Alcohol-based lotions
Bathroom cleaners
Depilatories
Hair relaxers
Permanent lotions
Toilet bowl cleaners
Tub and tile cleaners
Water-based glues
Paintbrush cleaners with trisodium phosphate
Lye-based paint strippers

After disposal, be sure to rinse the empty container with water several times. Of course, the safest course of action is not to put anything in your sink or toilet. Other wastes should be disposed of by following your local municipality's hazardous waste collection process.

 

 

For more information on this and many other water-related topics, check out Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons.

 

 

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