When you see a red plastic disposal container in a healthcare provider setting, you know instinctively what's inside and to stay away from it. Collected within are dangerous biohazard materials and you know immediately you do not want any contact with the contents. While this is packaged and labeled clearly, there aren't as explicit. We all have to dispose of junk garbage on a regular basis, some of it daily; but, not too often, it's hazardous waste. Presenting health and safety risks, hazardous waste is to be taken seriously and therefore, it's vital to know how to deal with hazardous waste.
How to Deal with Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste is all around our homes, we just don't think about its ubiquity. It's in the engine coolant in the garage, the fuel and other components in the shed, it's outside, stored by the pool in the form of chlorine. In fact, this is one thing you'll have to dispose of when you drain and take down an above ground swimming pool. The fact of the matter is, hazardous materials are everywhere, we live, work, and play.
Some items that we have in our homes are hazardous and can impact the health of our families, pets, wildlife, and the environment if not used, stored and disposed of properly. These items include some cleaners, batteries, light bulbs, and paint. The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste according to the U.S. EPA. To keep your home safe and protect the environment, identify hazardous items and be sure to store, handle and dispose of them safely. --Rethink Recycling.com
Hazardous materials generally come in four different forms: corrosive, flammable, toxic, and reactive substances. Some examples include corrosive materials like car batteries and fireplace cleaners; flammable materials include solvents and cleaning chemicals; toxic materials include pesticides and transmission fluid; and, reactive substances include items like cyanide and peroxides. Here are some helpful suggestion for how to deal with hazardous waste in your home:
- Store hazardous materials properly. If you have hazardous materials in and around your home, it's best to store them properly. This means out of the reach of children and in places where pets cannot get into. Place these together, out of sight and keep under lock and key, when possible.
- Dispose of hazardous waste correctly. You can't simply toss hazardous waste into the trash and put it on the curb with your other household waste. While you might conceal it cleverly, it drives up costs to sort through and separate hazardous materials. There could be drop-off facilities in your locality and there are municipalities which will pickup some hazardous waste.
- Recycle hazardous waste, when possible. You're probably wondering who would recycle hazardous materials and why? Well, local charities, schools, and animal shelters will be happy to accept unused paint, paint thinner, and other such supplies.
- Purchase and use non-hazardous products. When you go to the store, you'll have several "green" alternative products which don't contain hazardous materials. These are usually just as effective and high quality; so, opt for these products, instead.
If you have hazardous waste in your home, office, or commercial space, just pickup the phone and call 800-433-1094 or visit Haul Junk Away. We have locations all over the area to serve you and to pickup and properly disposal of all kinds of junk garbage.