Hazardous waste refers to any kind of harmful waste that can prove dangerous for plants and animals. It is mostly in the form of chemical waste or accumulated dirt and can cause some serious damage to human health.
Most people don’t realize it, but hazardous waste can be found inside of all our homes. It doesn’t matter whether it is the kitchen, bathroom, or garden area; hazardous waste can be found in all corners of your house. If you are living in the same house for several years, you will come across household hazardous waste from time to time. It is crucial that you dispose of that waste carefully so that it doesn’t cause any damage.
Household hazardous waste, also known as HHW, is dangerous, which is why one needs to follow certain guidelines before disposing of it. A lot of people don’t take it seriously and just dispose of it with the regular garbage. This not cannot only harm the environment, but it can also be dangerous for humans and animals.
If you are not sure how to dispose of HHW safely, then you have stumbled on the right blog. Before we go into the details of safely disposing of HHW, let’s take a look at what constitutes household hazardous waste.
Types of Household Hazardous Waste
Before you learn how to dispose of household hazardous waste safely, it is vital for you to understand what kinds of waste are considered HHW. In general, anything that can harm the environment or a living organism is considered household hazardous waste. Following are the types of waste you need to watch out for:
a. Flammable Things
When you are disposing of waste, make sure that nothing in there is flammable. If there is any substance in the garbage box that can easily catch fire, you need to dispose of it separately.
b. Toxic Substances
This includes the type of materials that are poisonous or reactive and can cause damage to a person or environment when exposed. It includes paint, motor oil, cleaning products, and waste chemicals.
c. Corrosive Materials
This type of waste usually includes liquids that can cause corrosiveness to metal and can also make them weaker. Most corrosive materials come in the shape of cleaning items. If you are using a cleaner or drainer, then you need to dispose of it carefully.
d. Reactive Chemicals and Other Materials
Anything that is reactive should be disposed of with extreme care. These include items that can show unpredictable behavior when placed in a certain atmosphere. For example, you need to dispose of batteries carefully because they can explode above certain temperatures.
These are some of the main types of household hazardous waste that need your attention. Most people think that these are the kind of waste that is only found in factories. The truth if you live in a house long enough, you will see all these kinds of waste eventually.
Disposing Household Hazardous Waste Safely
Now, as we have established what constitutes household hazardous waste, it is time to talk about how we can dispose of it safely.
Disposing household hazardous waste might seem like a mundane job, and you may not have enough time for it, but it is something that you must do in time. Let’s take a look at few simple steps that will help you dispose of all the household hazardous waste in a safe way.
1. Learn About the Policies
Every place has different laws about disposing of household hazardous waste, so it is important for you to first understand how things work in your area. Every country has a different policy for waste disposal. You can find the waste disposal policy of your country easily with the help of Google.
If you are living in the USA, you will have to check the state laws for waste disposal before taking any action. In the US, every state has slightly different laws when it comes to environmental protection.
2. Follow Instructions
Luckily, many household hazardous waste materials come with instructions on how to store and dispose of them. This makes things very simple as all you need to do is follow the instructions. However, some of these products only have information on the hazardous substances they are made of and how to safely manage them.
You don’t necessarily need a disposal guide to getting rid of the item safely. By learning about the material from the label, you can understand what kind of danger it possesses and can dispose of it accordingly.
3. Hire Professionals
If there is too much household hazardous waste material and you are not sure where to begin, then you can always consider hiring professionals. Most waste disposal services offer assistance for household hazardous waste materials. All you have to do is call them, and they will collect it from your house and deal with it.
Most companies offer pick-up services, but if your waste disposal company doesn’t, you can still send them the waste materials yourself so that they can dispose of them correctly. Choosing this route will not only save you time, but you will be able to dispose of the harmful materials efficiently.
Not every household hazardous waste material needs to be thrown away. Some of the HHM can be recycled and used without harming the environment. Household hazardous waste is only dangerous because it is just sitting there and isn’t of any use in its current state. If you can recycle the material, you will be able to make that waste into something useful and save your money.
5. Give it away
As mentioned above, some household hazardous waste materials are only harmful when they are not being used. If there are certain items in your house that you don’t need but still work, you can always consider donating them to someone else.
For example, if you have some paint left from the last time you painted your room, then instead of keeping it in your garage, you can always give it to someone else who might need it. It is a great way of keeping your environment safe.