How to Properly Dispose of Hazardous Materials During Spring Cleaning? After a long year, spring is beautiful as it brings flowers, sunshine, and, most importantly, Spring Cleaning! There’s no better time to clean and dispose of clutter and waste than NOW!
Some messes may be hazardous and require special attention when disposing of these items. Disposing hazardous materials is essential to protect the environment and society from any danger these items might cause.
When decluttering your home or office, it is best to take a second look and consider if they fall under hazardous waste materials. If you’d like to know more about properly disposing of hazardous waste materials, please read below, and let’s get that spring cleaning started!
1. Light Bulbs
Light bulbs might be simple and familiar, but it is a hazard that must be disposed of carefully. CFL light bulbs contain mercury which is dangerous for our environment. When you change out the light bulb is not thrown responsibly, the mercury can reach oceans and surrounding rivers, intoxicating marine life, and humans.
Knowing how to dispose of these common but hazardous items is best. The National Waste and Recycling association recommends disposing of these bulbs in a plastic bag outside trash bins. You can also dispose of your bulbs in hazard waste drop-off events.
When your phone, gadget, device, or car battery dies, do you know the right way of disposing of it? Batteries are hazardous waste as it contains toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, sulphuric acid, nickel, and cadmium. The improper disposal of batteries leads to air and water pollution.
Depleted batteries are usually tossed in the trash and end up in landfills where they leak and decay-causing harm to ecosystems. This means that we can ingest dangerous metals from tap water faucets.
Single-use batteries are the most common batteries for household and commercial use. These batteries are found inside gadgets such as remotes, flashlights, children’s toys, and other small electronics. These single-use batteries can be disposed of regularly in the trash bin unless it is lithium-based.
You can safely dispose of these batteries by putting packing, electrical, or masking tape on the batteries terminals.
Batteries over 9 volts are also recommended to be taped as these can cause a fire while being delivered to a recycling center. You can take these batteries to a hazardous waste collection center and help our environment from the toxic effects of hazardous waste.
3. Household Chemicals
Household chemicals are considered “Household Hazardous Waste,” including solvents, paints, and acids. It is recommended to use these chemicals according to the manufacturer’s directions. It would be best if you never disposed of these harmful chemicals down the toilet or sink.
Doing this will pollute drinking water and might end up in tap water faucets. It is also recommended not to throw household chemicals on the ground, as they might seep into surface water and eventually into ground waters. Burning these chemicals is also prohibited as they release dangerous toxins into the air and can produce carcinogens.
Household chemicals like aerosols are considered hazardous because they can explode when exposed to intense heat. It would be best if you emptied the aerosol can before putting it into the household trash. You can check with your local recycler to see if disposing aerosol cans are eligible for recycling in your area.
4. Sharps, Lancets, and Syringes
Safe and careful disposal of sharps, lancets, and syringes can prevent the risk of spreading serious diseases. Never reuse needles, sharps, lancets, and syringes. Please don’t try to clean them, as cleaning them won’t remove bacteria and viruses altogether.
It is essential to put this hazardous waste into a solid container immediately after using them. It would be best if you did not fill the container and never put your fingers inside. Used lancets, sharps, and syringes can cause infection and injury when others can get poked by them.
How do you dispose of sharps? It is essential to have a heavy-duty plastic container as it will be impenetrable by sharps and needles, protecting others from being pricked. These containers can be found in medical suppliers: local public health authorities, and drugstores. Never put the sharps in the trash, toilet, and recycling bin. Collectors might get pricked and get diseases when they gather these hazardous wastes.
E-waste, such as old computers, cellphones, printers, appliances, etc. that has reached the end of its lifecycle must be disposed of properly because it contains toxic materials such as arsenic and lead.
When these are thrown into a landfill, the chemicals can leech out and can pose a potential risk to humans and animals in the local area. There are many ways to dispose of E-wastes safely. You’ll need to first check recyclers near your location.
These recycling sites accept various pieces of electronics, and it is an excellent way to help the community. Recycling helps protect nature as future natural resources are preserved.
Medicines can be dangerous when they are not disposed of properly. Children or pets might ingest these medications and cause sickness or toxicity. Being mindful of where we place expired drugs or medicine is key to preventing these situations.
If you have pharmaceuticals that you need to get rid of, do not flush them down the sink or toilet. Water treatment facilities can’t separate these from the community’s water.
An effective way for proper medicine disposal is to crush these pharmaceuticals and mix them with an unpalatable substance such as coffee grounds or dirt. Place this into a resealable plastic bag and remove any personal information! You can now safely throw this into the trash bin.
How to Properly Dispose of Hazardous Materials During Spring Cleaning? – Conclusion
Spring cleaning is an excellent time to take care of your trash. Hazardous waste might be troublesome, but with this guide and tips, it will be easy and convenient for you to dispose of these materials. Please feel free to contact your local hazardous waste facility to help you.
By knowing how to dispose of hazardous waste properly, you will help future generations by giving them a safe and healthy environment to live in.