Reducing Hazardous Waste

Steps you can take to help reduce and dispose
of hazardous waste correctly include:

    •    Returning unused hazardous products to manufacturers, if possible. Some manufacturers provide or fund collection and exchange services for spent materials. The most common example is the return of used printer ink cartridges.

    •    Minimizing the volume of waste you generate by planning your product use carefully.

    •    Using recycling programs.

    •    Setting up recycling programs. Artists' groups can organize swap and collection programs.

    •    Using hazardous waste collection programs . See Waste Disposal in Chapter 21: Utilities for additional information.

    •    Evaporating small amounts of solvents or solvent-containing materials (less than a pint), if other and better alternatives are not available. Evaporation should take place either outdoors or inside a local exhaust hood where no one will be exposed to vapors.

    •    Placing non-hazardous materials, including clay, non-leaching or non-dissolving, solid metals and paint residues, in the trash. Glazed pottery can go in the trash if it doesn't give off toxic metals such as lead or cadmium.

    •    Neutralizing or diluting acid and alkali wastes, and recovering silver from photographic fixer solutions, to make them non-hazardous.

    •    Following the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which provides the best directions on how a hazardous product should be stored and disposed of.

    •    Taking hazardous materials to a licensed hazardous waste disposal company, if necessary. Individuals, Household Generators and Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators are exempt from RCRA transportation regulations that require (often costly) pick-up by a licensed hazardous waste transporter. The local telephone directory provides listings of hazardous waste disposal transporters and companies. In addition, you can contact the Illinois EPA’s Division of Land Pollution Control for assistance at 217-782-6761/6762, or visit the Website.

    •    For additional tips and information, review "Detoxing" Your Art in Chapter 24: Green Practice.