Recycling the Hazardous Waste in your Home
Our homes are filled with items which can cause harm to both ourselves and the environment if we fail to properly dispose of them. It’s easy to forget exactly what items throughout your home contain hazardous materials, and remembering the proper ways to dispose of everything can be a pain. That’s why the team here at Kart A Way have put together this guide to the items classified as hazardous waste in your home, and how to go about recycling them.
The easiest way to identify hazardous products and items is to read the label. Labels displaying words like ‘danger’, ‘toxic’, ‘flammable’, ‘warning’ and ‘poison’ should be treated with care at all times, and disposed of properly. You can also use labels to cut down on the amount of hazardous items making their way into the home – if possible, shop around for a safer alternative that can be disposed of more easily.
Here are some of the common items you can find in your home, and how you can dispose of them properly and safely.
You probably have more batteries than you know what to do with, in various appliances, toys and tools around the house. Although some forms of battery are classified as non-hazardous, it is best to err on the side of caution when disposing of any battery. Disposable alkaline batteries and lithium ion batteries are examples of technically ‘non hazardous’ batteries, but should be disposed like any other battery for safety.
Laptop batteries, disposable batteries, rechargeable batteries and vehicle batteries should all be properly recycled at disposal centres. Some commercial establishments like shops and supermarkets may also have dedicated battery drop off points, so it is worth checking if you have any batteries you need to dispose of.
The main danger with aerosol sprays is associated with filled or partially filled cans. These can explode if punctured or exposed to heat and the product inside the can is harmful to the environment. Only completely empty cans should can be processed for normal recycling, while cans still containing hazardous materials need to be handled by hazardous waste management facilities.
Computers, laptops and televisions
Covered by the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive, electrical equipment such as laptops, computers and televisions should be properly disposed of. Whether you have older computer monitors containing cathode ray tubes, LCD laptop screens/monitors or even plasma televisions, they will need to be dealt with responsibly by hazardous waste management sites.
Contents of computers themselves will also need to be disposed of properly. Capacitors and nickel-containing printed circuit boards mean motherboards and other circuitry and computer components fall into the WEEE Directive, as do NiCd laptop batteries.
Disposal of mercury should be taken incredibly seriously. Pouring spilled mercury down the drain can clog drains and pollute the sewage system into which your plumbing drains. Thermometers, old thermostats and even antique toys can contain mercury so should be professionally and safely disposed of.
Fluorescent and HID (high-intensity discharge) light bulbs contain hazardous materials – such as small amounts of mercury – so should be disposed of in the same way as other mercury-containing products. LED, halogen and incandescent bulbs can normally be recycled.
Paint, and solvents
Oil and latex based paints, and solvents – such as paint thinner – should not be poured down the drain; instead they should be dealt with at a hazardous waste management site. To reduce the amount of hazardous waste created with regards to paint, try to use the least hazardous paints and simply buy the correct amount of paint for the job, so there is none left over to dispose of at the end.
Oven, drain, wood, metal, toilet and tile or shower cleaners and bleach should not be thrown out or disposed of down the drain. They all contain hazardous materials and will be clearly labeled as being dangerous. Arranging for a proper hazardous waste management service is the safest way to deal with them.
Automotive fuel and fluids
Fuels are flammable and explosive, and should be stored in sealed containers before being disposed of at a hazardous waste disposal site. Automotive fluids like hydraulic, lubricating and transmission oils are also hazardous, as are antifreeze and brake fluids.
Lawn and garden care products
Many lawn and garden care products are toxic, including pesticides, herbicides, weed killers, bug killers and mouse or rat poison. Reduce chemical usage on your garden by finding alternative products and methods, and dispose of all hazardous garden waste at a hazardous waste disposal facility.
Personal care products
Many personal care products are toxic and flammable. Nail polish (and remover), hairspray, hair dye and perfume/cologne should all be disposed of properly at a hazardous waste disposal facility.
Hazardous waste removal
If you have an abundance of products and items deemed as hazardous waste, employing the services of a professional hazardous waste management company is the safest method of disposal. Kart A Way provide a comprehensive hazardous waste disposal service, ensuring your hazardous waste is safely collected, transported and disposed of efficiently at our facilities.
Kart A Way have been providing reliable hazardous waste disposal services for over 30 years. Our specialist team will advise you on the best disposal service for your needs and will tailor our hazardous waste management to your requirements. If you need professional hazardous waste management and disposal services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kart A Way today.