In the United States, we generated anywhere between 20.3 to 29.1 million tons of hazardous waste between 2001 to 2017. As you can see, that’s a lot of potential damage to our environment if it’s not disposed of properly.
You might think of hazardous waste as just something big factories generate. But the reality is, there’s plenty of household hazardous waste as well, such as drain cleaner and even mothballs.
Are you now wondering how you should dispose of hazardous waste? Then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you how to get rid of hazardous waste properly so you look after both the planet and the life on it.
Types of Hazardous Waste
Before we discuss what to do with hazardous waste, let’s first go over the different types. That way, you’re better informed on what they are and what you should do with them.
Toxic waste is exactly what you’d expect it to be. This is anything that can be harmful to your health; more specifically, it can call illnesses or even death. As you might’ve guessed, this is much more dangerous than any other type of hazardous waste and you should take care when dealing with toxic waste.
Some examples of toxic waste include:
- Cleaning products
- Art supplies
Anything that’s corrosive means it most likely has strong chemicals in it. In turn, as the word “corrosive” implies, this type of hazardous waste can cause damage to you or other materials since it’ll eat through substances.
A great example of corrosive waste is battery acid.
This type of waste can have a chemical reaction if you expose it to things like the air or water. It might also have a reaction if you introduce other substances to it.
Understandably, you want to handle this type of waste carefully. If you don’t, it can result in ignition or even explosions.
A good example of reactive waste is any acids you might have.
Technically, most items can be considered ignitable waste. However, true ignitable waste is anything that’ll catch fire spontaneously or will burn very easily.
Some examples of ignitable waste include:
- Charcoal lighter fluid
- Nail polish remover
Ways to Dispose of Hazardous Waste
Now that you know what types of hazardous waste are out there, we can move onto hazardous waste removal. Here are the different ways you can safely get rid of your hazardous waste.
Drop off at the Community Collection Site
In local communities, there should be a collection site for household hazardous waste. If you aren’t certain whether or not something is hazardous, it’s always worth it to be extra careful and bring it to the collection site.
There, the staff can help you determine whether or not your waste is hazardous. And if it is, they can dispose of it properly for you.
Wait for the Special Collection Days
Some communities don’t have a collection site all year round. Instead, they have a special collection day where the municipality collects all hazardous waste on specific days of the year.
You’ll want to check with your city hall to see if this is available to you.
Drop off at Local Businesses
Don’t have a community collection site or special collection days? Then you might be able to drop off your waste at local businesses.
Many of them need to dispose of their own hazardous waste anyway, so they lend a helping hand to the local community by accepting their waste as well.
In addition, many businesses are able to recycle some of these things for you. For example, an auto shop might be able to recycle motor oil for you since they deal with themselves all the time.
Employ Hazardous Waste Services
Perhaps you not only need to dispose of hazardous waste, but also need cleanup as well. In this case, it might not be the best idea to try and do it yourself since it can be dangerous to your health. Not to mention, you might clean the mess up in such a way that it’s worse for your health and the environment.
What you can do instead is employ hazardous waste services. All you need to do is go to a website like this: http://www.hcienv.com/, and then make an appointment for these professionals to come to your property.
They can then take care of everything from cleanup to proper hazardous waste disposal. You won’t have to worry about doing anything yourself.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
For the above sections, we’ve given you advice on how to dispose of hazardous waste. But what if you’re not quite done with your items yet?
Make sure you always read the product labels. They’ll always tell you how to properly store the containers and what to avoid, such as mixing with other chemicals.
In fact, to be safe, you should never mix any hazardous materials with other products. Not only do you risk unsafe situations, but the mixture might also be rendered unrecyclable. As a result, you’ll be putting more strain on landfills and other waste disposal facilities.
Lastly, empty containers might be more dangerous than you think. Naturally, there will be some leftover residue in these containers, so make sure you dispose of them correctly as well.
Get Rid of Hazardous Waste Safely
After reading this article, you should now have a better idea of how to get rid of hazardous waste safely. Whether it’s drain cleaner or batteries, make sure you take the right steps to disposing of these hazardous materials. You’ll be doing both yourself and the environment a favor!
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