Improper waste disposal can cause soil, water and air pollution, interfere with biological waste treatment processes, take up valuable landfill space, pollute lakes and beaches, and injure sanitation workers. Hazardous materials, such as paint, medicines and auto fluids, are especially dangerous to people and the environment.
Certain household products become hazardous when used, stored or disposed of incorrectly. If disposed of with regular household waste, they end up in landfills where they can seep into the soil and contaminate the groundwater. Flushing these types of materials down a toilet or drain can interfere with waste treatment processes, contaminate the effluent that runs into the ocean and affect the biosolids used as fertilizer. Waste left in the street typically enters storm drains and washes out near waterways.