How Do I Dispose of My Household Hazardous Waste?
Throwing your Household Hazardous Waste in the garbage or washing it down the drain can be dangerous to your family and our environment. In Gibraltar, hazardous wastes are collected separately by licensed waste contractors and some fractions of hazardous waste produced in small quantities by households, offices, etc, may be taken to the Government of Gibraltar's Recycling Centre.
Why is proper disposal so important?
Many common household products contain hazardous chemicals. Once released into the environment, these substances may pose a serious threat to living organisms. Small quantities of hazardous substances can accumulate over time to reach dangerous levels and contaminate the air, water, and/or soil. Other hazardous substances can have a more immediate and devastating effect, such as poisoning.
Pesticides, fertilizers and other products can run off lawns and gardens into storm drains and streams, polluting our fresh water. Solvents can escape to the atmosphere from the normal use of cleaners, paints and aerosol sprays, as well as accidental spills or improper disposal. These substances not only pollute the air but they can also return to earth in the form of rain to further pollute our water, soil and plant life.
Chemicals from hazardous wastes buried in unsecured landfills can leach out and move through the soil, eventually entering ground water. These contaminants can then spread to wells or surface water, making it unsafe to drink.
Storing old chemicals under your staircase or at the back of cupboards can be a potential fire hazard. Leaving chemicals at the back of cupboards or in your garage can also be dangerous if discovered by your children and pets.
What does Household Hazardous Waste include?