Every household produces waste products that can be dangerous to you and the environment if not properly disposed of. In fact, most of the stuff you can find in your cupboards is among them. These include batteries, paints, pesticides, home cleaners such as bleach or ammonia, and automotive products such as brake fluids, fuels, and engine degreasers.
Proper disposal means placing the items in a designated refuse container to be frequently emptied by the municipality or other waste collectors. Anything that doesn’t follow this process, including pouring waste down the drain, sewers, the ground, or the incorrect dumping site, counts as improper disposal. The latter gets rightfully penalized by local authorities due to the short and long-term threats they pose.
If you want to take care of hazardous waste carefully and efficiently, this article may have the information you need. Here’s a list of four commonly mishandled items in homes and how to dispose of them.
Batteries are a staple in many households since people use them to run electrical devices, light fixtures, and even cars. Most of the time, they get dumped into bins as soon as they run out. What most people overlook is how dangerous that actually is. They contain dangerous components like heavy metals and acids that can seep into the ground, air, and water, causing serious harm to humans, plants, and animals.
Every type of battery requires its own disposal procedure. Alkaline batteries such as AAs, 9-volts, and Ds consist of non-hazardous materials. That usually means you can throw them into the trash safely.
Meanwhile, non-rechargeable batteries like lithium batteries, car batteries, and cell watch batteries contain toxic chemicals and shouldn’t go with ordinary trash. Instead, store them in a special bin until you can take them to recycle facilities, hazardous waste centers, or designated drop sites. To reduce the frequency at which you dispose of such batteries, it’s wise to invest in rechargeable ones.
Remember to do your research about your local battery disposal regulations. If you remain unsure of what to you, you can take a look at different rubbish removal services and find ones that follow them to the letter.
Even light bulbs have their own requirements for proper disposal. Again, that depends on the bulb type.
For instance, compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, a metal that is hazardous to the environment. So, you should avoid piling them in with regular trash. Fortunately, mercury and other metal components in fluorescent bulbs can be recycled and reused. Find local recycling and waste collection depots where you can take these bulbs for processing.
LED bulbs don’t contain mercury but arsenic and lead, which are also hazardous. Most large stores that offer electronics also help with recycling. Try asking the largest ones near you if they offer LED recycling.
On the other hand, incandescent bulbs and lamps are usually safe to throw into trash cans. But if they’re broken, wrap them up in paper before disposing of them. This prevents sharp edges from causing injuries or piercing through the garbage bin.
While empty paint cans can be disposed of into your regular trash, you shouldn’t throw away liquid paint in your garbage cans or on the ground.
If you have leftover paint, first check your local regulations on paint disposal. You can always donate it to schools, shelters, or community centers if it’s far from the expiration date.
When it’s no longer fit for use, research the correct ways of disposal for the specific type of paint you have. Oil-based paints are generally hazardous and contaminate drinking water sources if improperly disposed of. Instead of mixing them with your regular trash, contact the nearest waste facilities to know how to dispose of them safely. You may be required to take oil-based paint to your local hazardous waste depot.
Meanwhile, water-based or latex paint isn’t hazardous. Many places recommend solidifying it and then disposing of it in your garbage cans. For convenience, you can pour the paint onto a newspaper and let it dry before putting it in the trash.
You shouldn’t leave out tires to rot. They also consist of hazardous materials that can seep into the surroundings and cause harm. In the worst circumstances, they can even turn into fire hazards.
While you can’t simply dispose of tires in your regular trash, there are different ways to safely handle them. Landfills are a good option, but they’re not always advisable since tires take up a lot of space and aren’t biodegradable.
If you only have a few tires, consider upcycling them in your property as sandboxes, flower beds, or materials for DIY projects. However, if you have many, try taking them to tire retailers or recycling facilities.
As much as you would like to think only of how helpful these things are in your daily life, you should also be responsible for properly disposing of them. There are many consequences that come with throwing them away carelessly. Hopefully, this information has raised your awareness of the value of following proper disposal practices. Get to know your local laws on hazardous waste disposal and be a conscious citizen.