Having your unwanted junk removed from your place can leave you with more space and a feeling of pride in your freshly cleaned home. However, it’s important to ensure that you properly dispose of your items. If hazardous waste gets thrown away with your everyday garbage, it can cause problems for the environment and wildlife in the area.
What is considered hazardous waste?
Waste containing chemicals or traces of materials that may be flammable, corrosive, or poisonous is considered a hazardous waste item. That means if these hazardous waste items end up in a landfill, they could cause serious damage to the soil, water, and wildlife in the area. Because of this risk, your hazardous waste items must be handled properly and appropriately disposed of. If you plan on hiring a junk removal service company, be clear on their policy about hazardous waste items. It’s best to work with a company that can ensure your hazardous waste items are disposed of properly.
Hazardous Waste Mistakes to Avoid
There are several common mistakes that people make when they are dealing with hazardous waste. However, these errors can easily be avoided with some care and attention. Here are some tips about hazardous waste mistakes you can avoid:
- Mislabelled items. Labels provide people with important information about the contents of the container. It can let others know about a toxic or hazardous substance inside and how to handle the container to avoid any injuries or damages. It is important to make sure that any hazardous materials in your possession are properly labelled. You may want to check periodically to ensure the labels have not come off the containers.
- Illegal disposal. Putting hazardous materials anywhere but in a proper disposal station is against the law. While this may seem pretty clear, illegal dumping of hazardous materials still happens. Even if you find an area you feel is safe enough to dispose of your hazardous materials, don’t try it. Hazardous waste can still cause damage to local wildlife and the environment. Plus, if it’s discovered and traced back to you, there could be big fines that you’ll have to pay.
- Too much hazardous junk. Having too much hazardous material on your property can present a danger to you or those around the area. It is best to clear these materials away as soon as you are done with them. While it can sometimes be tempting to hang onto these items for future use, it’s better to discard them properly and get new containers if you need them later on.
- Keep containers closed. Another mistake that people make is not putting the lids on containers properly. This means that liquid and vapours may be able to escape from the hazardous material. It is important to check that you have fully closed the lid on any containers that hold hazardous chemicals.
Tips for Discarding Hazardous Material
You can do several things to ensure you are properly using, storing, and discarding hazardous items, like batteries and paint. Here are some ways you can take care when dealing with these materials.
It is important not just to toss batteries in the trash, but also to properly recycle them when used up. Some of the things you need to do to be sure they are handled appropriately include:
- Identify the type of battery. There are two basic types of batteries; these include regular batteries, which have alkaline, carbon-zinc, and manganese inside. The other type is a universal waste battery. These have nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) or small sealed lead-acid (SSLA). Rechargeable batteries are also considered universal waste batteries.
- Handling broken or leaky batteries. Because they may contain hazardous materials, it’s important to be careful when handling broken or leaky batteries. If their contents get into the environment, they may cause damage to water and wildlife.
Freshening up the look of your home with updated colours can help reinvigorate you, but the paint has toxins that can cause serious harm to the environment if not handled properly. There are some things you can do to ensure your paint products are properly discarded. These include:
- Don’t pour it down the drain. Putting unused paint into any drain will mix with groundwater, which can damage plants and wildlife. It can also be a health hazard for people if the water becomes contaminated.
- Know the type. Various types of paint require different methods of treatment. Be sure you understand if you are discarding a latex or oil-based paint. Follow the instructions for correctly handling the type you are getting rid of.
- Seal it up. Like with any other chemical, leaving paint unsealed or the lid half-off can allow hazardous chemicals to evaporate into the environment. Always double-check to be sure that the lid is fastened on tightly to any paint products you are working with.
- Discard it promptly. If you are unsure of how to deal with the paint you have, don’t make the mistake of hanging on to it. These hazardous materials should be dealt with quickly. You can contact your local municipality or recycling centre for instructions on how to handle the leftover paint you have.
- Treat it at home. Paint should never be tossed in the garbage. If you are not able to take it to a treatment centre, there are some environmentally-friendly ways to handle your unwanted paint at home. Search out options that will work for the type of paint that you have.
Tossing your unused medications in the garbage can cause a big problem. If you have prescriptions that you no longer need, consider a safer option for discarding them. Contact your local pharmacy to see if they have a drop-off program for your used and unwanted medicines.
One of the best ways to handle your hazardous waste materials is to leave it to the professionals. For more information about our junk removal services, call Junk Works at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865) or contact us here.