Burning household trash is hazardous to your health and the environment
Wednesday, October 04, 2017
COEUR D'ALENE —The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reminds homeowners that burning household trash is hazardous to their health and the environment and is illegal in most areas in Idaho.
Burning waste in barrels, stoves, or fire pits may seem like an easy way to dispose of trash, but it can contaminate Idaho's air, water, and soil. Today's household trash contains products treated with chemicals, coatings, and inks. When these items are burned, the smoke emits hazardous pollutants into the air. This ground-level smoke can be inhaled, increasing people’s risk for heart disease, aggravating respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and causing rashes, nausea, or headaches. The ash residue can have concentrated amounts of toxic materials that can contaminate soil or ground water.
DEQ encourages residents to use cleaner, safer methods of disposal. Never burn trash at home or while recreating. Instead, try these alternatives:
- Use local garbage and recycling services. Separate metal, glass, plastic, and paper to be recycled and find a local trash hauler or drop-off site.
- Reduce waste. Cut down on the amount of waste you generate by buying items with less packaging and by composting or chipping yard waste.
- Educate and be considerate of your neighbors. Teach family members and neighbors about the hazards of trash burning. Everyone in the community shares the same air and water.