Public Health: Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Problems
Tarrant County Public Health
Tarrant County Public Health
  | 1115 Healthcare Transformation Waiver | About Us | Client Services | Community Youth Development | Disease Prevention & Control | Environmental/Consumer Protection | Fetal and Infant Mortality Review | Health Data & Information | Health Education | Health Policy | HIPAA | News Items & Publications | Nurse-Family Partnership | Obesity Prevention | Press Releases | Public Health Alerts / Recalls | Public Health Preparedness | Service Locations | Special Events & Activities | Travel Health Services | VFC Provider Info | Public Health | Home | Director's Message | Mission and Vision | Staff Directory A-M | Staff Directory N-Z | Ten Essential Services of Public Health | 2004 Press Releases | 2003 Press Releases | 2002 Press Releases | Administration Office: Tarrant County Public Health Main Campus | Arlington Public Health Center | Bagsby-Williams Public Health Center | Northeast Public Health Center | Northwest Public Health Center | S. S. Dillow Elementary Public Health Center | Southlake Travel Health Services | Southwest Public Health Center | Town Center Mall Public Health Center | Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening | Child Safety Seat Information | Family Planning Services | Health Insurance Continuation Program | HIV/AIDS Preventive Medicine Clinical Services | Immunizations | Refugee Health Screening | Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD/HIV) | Travel Health Services | Tuberculosis (TB) | Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) | Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention | Disease Reporting & Investigation | Health Alert Network | West Nile Virus | AIDS Perspective Newsletters | Health Intelligence Center | Health Intelligence Center PDFs | Monitoring & Assessment Project (M.A.P.) | Air Quality | Drinking Water Information & Testing | High Lead Level Investigations | Milk and Dairy Product Testing | Septic System Inspections/Permitting | Storm Water Pollution Prevention | Swimming Pool Inspections | Texas SmartScape | Water Chemistry Testing | Adolescent Tobacco Cessation Program (ATCP) | Family Violence Prevention | Health Education Resources Center | Bioterrorism Agents and Disease Fact Sheets | Bioterrorism Links | Health Response Teams | Laboratory Capacity | Champions in Health | Teen VideoFest | News Archive | AIDS Perspective Newsletter | Eye on Epi Newsletter | Annual Reports | Informational Publications | HIV Counseling, Testing and Preventions Services | STD Clinical Services | HIV/AIDS Preventive Medicine Clinical Services | HIV Counseling, Testing and Preventions Services | About STDs | WIC Income Guidelines | Glossary of Terms Used in WIC | WIC Online Nutrition Information | Air Quality Index | How can I make a difference? | Subdividing Land / Plat Approval | Helping the Child who is a Bully | Helping the Child Who Is a Target of Bullying | Recognition | Contributions and Sponsorship | For Educational Use | How to get started on Teen Videofest | 2003 Video Finalists | 2004 News Archive | 2003 News Archive | 2002 News Archive Login | Register | Show Images | Home 
{Tarrant County Public Health - Safeguarding Our Community}

Environmental/Consumer Protection

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Problems

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Problems .  People commonly dump their household product down the drain. Wastewater treatment plants, community and private septic systems all use biological processes to breakdown sewage. If you live in Tarrant County, your household sewage is piped to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Household chemicals disposed of down the drain can disrupt the treatment plant’s process for breaking down sewage. The potential outcome is untreated sewage entering the Trinity River. Again, these systems may not be able to completely breakdown many household hazardous wastes.
The result is some chemicals and untreated sewage may pass through the system and enter local surface waters or seep into the ground water. Most other residents in the County are on community or individual septic systems. Household chemicals can destroy the bacteria that make a septic system work. If the septic system becomes damaged, then household chemicals and untreated sewage can seep into the soil and contaminate the ground water. This is the same ground water used for drinking. These chemicals may also damage your septic system, requiring costly repairs.
Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste—Why the Concern?  
Most homes in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex have cupboards and garages that contain some type of household chemical product—drain cleaners, spot removers, motor oil, furniture polish, oven cleaners, weed killer, and harmful bleach compounds, just to name a few. In an effort to make our lives easier, we turn to these products when it comes time to do our daily chores. Unfortunately, when these products are not used up or disposed of properly, they pose a serious threat to the health of our families and the environment. Many of these household products contain the same chemicals that are strictly regulated as industrial waste. While each individual home may have only small quantities of these household products, collectively, the amount of waste adds up quickly.
Disposal Problems
What do you do with an old can half-full of paint? How do you dispose of household cleaning solutions that, for whatever reason, you have never used up? When the expiration date has passed on that container of weed killer, how do you dispose of it?
If your answer is “pour it down the drain”, or “throw it in the trash”, then you could be contaminating the drinking water of your family, friends and neighbors.
Sometimes, these wastes enter the environment directly by being poured down storm drains and street gutters simply because people don’t think of the consequences. All of these improper disposal methods can lead to contamination of ground water and surface water. The water we all depend on for drinking, bathing and recreational use.
Disposal Problems: In the Trash
In Tarrant County, household and commercial garbage is taken to area landfills. If household hazardous wastes have been disposed of in the trash, these products can seep into ground water and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Disposal Problems: On the Ground
A major portion of Tarrant County’s population relies upon ground water as their sole drinking water source. When household chemicals are dumped on the ground, some of them can seep through the soil and contaminate the ground water, polluting drinking water wells.
Disposal Problems: In Storm Sewers
Storm sewers carry rainwater from our streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways directly to our streams and rivers. The water that travels through the storm sewers is not treated. Dumping household chemicals into a storm sewer is like dumping them directly into the Trinity River.
Disposal Solutions:
If you are a resident of unincorporated Tarrant County and would like to properly dispose of your household hazardous chemicals or waste, please contact Mr. Robert Berndt at 817-884-2634 or by E-mail at ( Mr. Berndt will collect some basic information from the resident to complete a Voucher Information Sheet (VIS). After the VIS material is confirmed, a Tarrant County Environmental Collection Center Program Voucher will be mailed to the resident or the resident may pickup the voucher at the Transportation Services Department. The resident can now take household hazardous chemicals or waste to the ECC for proper disposal. AN UNINCORPORATED TARRANT COUNTY RESIDENT MUST HAVE A VOUCHER BEFORE GOING TO THE ECC.
Please visit the Transportation Department's Environmental Collection Center Information  web page for additional information on the Regional Environmental Collection Center or the Voucher Information Sheet.

Content Last Modified on 11/12/2009 12:49:58 PM

Tarrant County Public Health, Main Campus
1101 S. Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Need help? Call Customer Service at 817-321-4700.


Privacy Policy   |  Accessibility Statement   |  Contact Webmaster
Media Inquiries    |   General Information   |  Public Information Act

County Telephone Operator: 817- 884-1111

Tarrant County provides the information contained in this web site as a public service. Every effort is made to ensure that information provided is correct. However, in any case where legal reliance on information contained in these pages is required, the official records of Tarrant County should be consulted. Tarrant County is not responsible for the content of, nor endorses any site which has a link from the Tarrant County web site.

100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196
Copyright 2001-2015 Tarrant County, TX