Household hazardous waste is typically found in both residential and commercial entities. Household hazardous waste is any product that can cause harm to either a person or an organism’s health.

Since these products can harm both humans and the environment, they should be used, stored and disposed of properly. These items include paint, solvents, pesticides, oven and drain cleaners, furniture strippers and wood preservatives.

The way to tell if a product is hazardous is by looking to see if there is a signal word on the bottle or container. There are four common signal words that a person should look out for: caution, warning, danger and poison. “Caution” and “warning” are less toxic and are considered mild to moderate hazard. “Danger” is considered to be extremely flammable or corrosive. “Poison” is the most hazardous and is considered highly toxic.

The next time you purchase a cleaner or personal care product make sure to look out for the four signal words or buy products that are free from harmful hazards. You can also make your own products as well.

Household hazardous waste products should be stored carefully. For one, these items should be stored out of reach from children, either in a locked cupboard or on a high shelf. The items should also be stored in a dry place and stored away from heat or flames.

Another tip is to keep the original label intact on the container and keep the product in the original container to prevent confusion. Lastly, never mix products together.

If you have any of these materials and are no longer using them, it is important to dispose of them in the proper manner. You can bring them to either of the transfer stations in Hubbard County. The north transfer station in Laporte accepts this material seasonally, April through September. The south transfer station in Park Rapids now accepts this material year round.

If these materials are still usable when you drop them off, staff will go through the material and items will be placed in the materials exchange for residents to take at no charge. If you have any questions, either email solidwaste@co.hubbard.mn.us or call 218-237-1460.

Kalyn Kopacek is Hubbard County’s Minnesota GreenCorps volunteer.