Whether you’re purchasing a new home or have lived in the same house for years, chances are there is old paint and other household items that require special disposal in your crawlspace or garage.
Batteries: The average American household goes through over a dozen standard batteries a year. There are several types of batteries. Alkaline batteries come in sizes like AA, AAA, C, D and 9V and can simply be disposed of in your standard garbage can. Alkaline batteries no longer contain dangerous substances like mercury (eliminated around 1993). However, it’s important not to throw away a large number of alkaline batteries together. Also, if you use rechargeable batteries like AAs or AAAs, you should recycle them.
Car batteries and small tractor batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid. These batteries should be taken to a recycling center. Many auto parts stores will actually pay you to recycle the battery at their location. Auto Zone is one of these many stores currently offering a $5 store credit for recycling your battery there.
Paint: Latex paint is considered non-hazardous by all states except California. If you have a home in California, visit this site for recommended disposal. For all other states, it is recommended to dry out the leftover paint with cat litter or a latex paint hardener specifically made for drying out leftover paint such as this product from Home Depot. You can then dispose of the paint in your curb-side garbage collection.
CFL and Fluorescent Light bulbs: These energy efficient bulbs contain mercury. They should be recycled at a local recycler. Many states including California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington require the bulbs be recycled and not disposed of in your common household trash. Some major home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes have recycling centers available. Look towards their returns desk for a drop-off.
Keep your eye out for local recycling programs in your community. These are often sponsored by the city you live in and makes disposing of household waste simple.
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