As Iowans bust out their mops and dust pans and begin spring cleaning, the Department of Natural Resources hopes they will limit pollution from the chemicals they use to do it.
Tom Anderson, who leads the DNR’s Household Hazardous Materials (HHM) program, urges Iowans to think before pouring old household cleaners down the drain, trashing last year’s weed killer or heading out to buy cans of new paint.
“Many household cleaners and chemicals make our chores easier-and nearly every house in Iowa has items like toilet cleaners under the sink, antifreeze and motor oil in the garage, and pesticides in the shed,” he said.
“Along with the conveniences these products provide comes a responsibility to properly purchase, use, store and dispose of them.”
The first step in handling HHMs is reading the product labels about proper disposal, he said, while also suggesting to look for eco-friendly product alternatives to purchase in the future.
Regional Collection Centers (RCCs) located across the state provide safe disposal of unwanted HHMs at no cost to households. Many RCCs also provide a Swap Shop, where usable materials, such as paint and cleaners have been dropped off and are available at no charge.