Effective household hazardous waste management cannot be achieved without consumer awareness. To be effective the education must be comprehensive and widespread. If household hazardous waste education is limited to information about collection programs, then consumers will think the HHW problem is solved by collections. Collections minimize part of the problem but also exacerbate other problems associated with hazardous materials disposal. A good education program leads consumers to accept responsibility for products they choose to buy, and to understand the health and environmental impacts of product use, storage and disposal.
Education on household hazardous products and waste can be linked to other community efforts addressing indoor air quality, poison prevention, health, fire safety, non-point source pollution, and recycling. There are several key points that an education program should cover and resources to assist in developing these educational components.
Some excellent social research on behavior change, particularly regarding consumer decisions about household hazardous waste, have been described by environmental psychologist Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr. His website on community based social marketing discusses the barriers and provides tools that have proved effective in promoting environmentally sustainable behavior.
The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)
The Household Hazardous Materials Topic Hub™ was developed by:
Hub Last Updated: 5/7/2009