After a Disaster –Household Chemicals and Household Hazardous Wastes:
Disasters may leave behind damaged or unusable household chemicals. Products labeled POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION contain hazardous chemicals. These household hazardous wastes should be separated from other wastes before disposal. Extreme caution should be used when cleaning up damaged containers. Wear rubber gloves, avoid breathing fumes or dust and only work in a well-ventilated area. Never burn these wastes. Counties and municipalities are encouraged to provide collection programs. If one is not available, household hazardous waste may be disposed of at a permitted sanitary landfill.
In order to make the transition back to normal life easier, both individuals and governments need to have plans in place for dealing with the solid waste that accumulates during and after a disaster. Check with your county and city officials for locations where debris is being collected.
Items like plant waste, building debris, dead animals, household hazardous wastes and tires have other options available to them besides being dumped into a landfill.
If you would like more information on open burning or other post-disaster solid waste management, please visit the Solid Waste Management Program web site.
If you would like to receive information regarding hazardous waste management, please visit the Hazardous Waste Program web site.