Guide to Reducing Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste can be dangerous to properly use, store, and dispose of at home. The best way to avoid the potential risks associated with household hazardous waste is to minimize the amount that you generate. Here are some simple ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste in your home.

  1. Buy only what you need instead of buying in bulk. Don’t buy a gallon jug of paint thinner when you only need a pint!
  2. Share products with neighbors or other community members rather than store them.
  3. Choose non-toxic alternatives when possible. Read labels carefully before purchasing products so you can reduce the amount of hazardous material you bring into your home. Materials labeled WARNING or CAUTION are less hazardous than those labeled DANGER or POISON. The EPA also came up with a yearly list of products that have ingredients tested to be safer for the environment and human health.
  4. Test your soil to determine what it needs before applying fertilizers. The University of Vermont provides soil tests for a small fee.
  5. Try a DIY recipe for common household products such as cleaners, detergents for laundry, dish soaps, weed control, and bug sprays. Check out a few examples listed below!

Product Alternative



All Purpose Surface Cleaner

1 cup distilled water

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 lemon juice (optional)

15 drops essential oil (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle, gently shake to mix. Spray directly on surface and wipe clean with cloth. Store in fridge if using lemon juice.

Lawn Fertilizer


Compost or simply leave clippings where they fall.

Air Freshener

1 cup distilled water

1 Tbsp rubbing alcohol

10-20 drops essential oil

Mix essential oil into rubbing alcohol, add water, and stir. Pour into spritzer bottle.


2 cups of warm water

2 tbsp baking soda

2 tsp of Castile soap

20 drops lemon essential oil

Mix ingredients

Drain Cleaner

Plunger or mechanical snake.

½ cup washing soda two cups of boiling water

Pour mixture and use plunger or mechanical snake. Flush drain weekly with boiling water

Weed Killer


Mow high (3-4 inches) and water infrequently

Inspect Spray for Plants

6 cloves crushed garlic 1 minced onion

1 tbsp. dried hot pepper 1 tbsp. pure soap

1 gallon of hot water

Blend ingredients, let sit 1-2 days, strain, and apply with spray bottle

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Club soda



Clean stains immediately with club soda. Sprinkle cornstarch on carpet and vacuum

Feel free to give us a call at 802-524-5986 if you would like more information and pointers on how to reduce your hazardous waste!