Alternatives to HHW

The best way to manage household hazardous waste is to bring less HHW into your home in the first place.

Plan ahead and purchase only what you need.

Try using non-hazardous products instead.

There are many environmentally friendly alternatives available for everything from household cleaning to home improvement and garden care products.  Not only are they better for the environment, but they are safer for you and your family.


We can clean and disinfect our homes using non-hazardous items from the kitchen like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and salt.

Scouring Agent
Baking soda can be added to natural, all-purpose cleaners to provide extra grit for scrubbing or it can be used on its own with a damp sponge to clean grimy surfaces.

Baking soda makes a great deodorizer and is far better for your indoor air quality than synthetic air fresheners. Leave a box of baking soda open in your fridge to absorb odors or sprinkle in places where odors appear, like the bottom of a garbage bin.

All-Purpose Cleaner
For a natural, all-purpose cleaner, pour one part vinegar and one part water into a spray bottle. For a scented cleanser, add a few drops of lemon juice or essential oil. You can use this mixture on most surfaces like countertops, sinks, bathtubs and showers. Vinegar is great for removing soap scum and works great for cleaning mirrors and glass.

Furniture Polish
Try making a natural furniture polish with a cup of olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Wipe on and buff off with a clean rag or towel.

Clogged Drain
Before resorting to chemical drain liquids, try unclogging stubborn drains with a baking soda and vinegar mixture. Pour baking soda down the drain and follow quickly with one cup of vinegar. Plug the drain right away and wait about 15 minutes. Remove the plug and pour a full kettle of boiling water down the drain. Repeat if necessary.



Lawn Care
Nourish your soil naturally by topdressing it with compost. Help your lawn stay healthy and pest-free by mowing it often and leaving the grass clippings on the lawn where they add nutrients back into the ground. Over-seeding your lawn once a year (in the spring or late summer) will fill in places where older grass plants have died.  Water your lawn deeply (about 1 inch), but less frequently, to encourage the growth of deep roots and a healthy lawn.

Rid your lawn of dandelions by pulling them out the old-fashioned way. It’s good exercise, a great chore for children and keeps your lawn safe and poison-free

Chinch Bugs
You can treat chinch bug on your lawn by applying a soap and water mixture to the affected area about once every two weeks. You can also safely and easily get rid of the problem by sucking up the chinch bugs and their eggs with a high-powered vacuum.

Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails are a problem for many gardeners, but there is a safe way to keep them from munching on your leafy plants. Try setting traps in garden beds where slugs are a problem. Make a trap by cutting the bottom of a 2L plastic pop bottle, fill it with beer and place it in your garden bed, flush with the top of the soil. The slugs are attracted to the yeast in the beer and will fall in and drown.

To help control fungal diseases, spray the top and bottom surface of leaves with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of soap flakes dissolved into 1 litre of warm water.

Insect Pests
Although insects are beneficial to your garden, some can wreak havoc on your plants. A simple soapy water mixture will get rid of nuisance insects. Mix 2 tablespoons of soap flakes with about a litre of water and spray directly onto the troublesome insects.