Cleaning Product Disposal

by Lawton Brothers | Jul 25, 2022

sanitizing vs. disinfecting

Cleaning Product Disposal

Naturally, we use a variety of cleaning chemicals and products on a daily basis to keep our facilities running smoothly. Most of the time, we run out of the cleaning product and toss the container, without worry. However, what if we don’t use all of the chemical? We can’t simply toss the container into the trash bin, full of unknown chemicals – these products oftentimes have one or more characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity, making them dangerous when handled incorrectly. Paint products, pool chemicals, pesticides, and more all have the potential of contaminating ground water when disposed of improperly. 

Down the Drain

While many cleaning products shouldn’t be disposed of through the municipal water system, water-soluble products are designed to be compatible with a wide variety of wastewater treatment systems. For example, up to a gallon of bleach can enter a standard septic system in a single day without destroying the tank’s much-needed bacteria. This should only be done with small (household-sized) amounts of liquid chemicals that are labeled water-soluble. Never mix chemicals – be sure not to let chemicals come into contact with one another by pouring multiple products into a single water source. 

Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Most chemicals will have symbols on the packaging to warn you of the dangers associated with their use. Chemicals with a corrosive, flammable, irritant, or toxic symbol on the label should never be poured down a sink or drain. These products should always be disposed of through a professional hazardous waste disposal company. In Florida, hazardous waste collection centers have been established in most communities and every county in the state has a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program. To search for a hazardous waste facility near you, check out the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website. 

Compliance Assistance

To assist businesses, colleges, local governments, and other facilities navigate their waste and prevent pollution, the EPA has developed Compliance Assistance Centers. These centers offer easy access to plain-language materials including websites tailored to specific industries, telephone assistance, state-specific compliance information, and email discussion groups. 

Toxics Release

The EPA also keeps track of the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to the environment and our health through the Toxics Release Inventory, or TRI. Annually, facilities in various industries must report how much of each chemical is released into the environment, emitted into the air or water, or placed in a type of land disposal. The information submitted is compiled in the TRI to provide a picture of environmental performance, identify facilities that are potentially not in compliance, and inform the development of regulations and policies. 

Find a Local Waste Center

The management of hazardous waste is extremely important, no matter the size of your business. Thankfully, the EPA as well as the Florida state government has provided various resources to support facilities’ disposal of unused chemicals. Contact a local collection center or compliance assistance center near you, and consider the types of products you purchase. Could there be a greener, safer alternative to your hazardous chemical? If you’re unsure, that’s what Lawton Brothers is here for! Give us a call today and let us help with all your cleaning needs: 800.432.0813.

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