The Right Way of Disposing Hazardous Wastes

hazardous waste

Hazardous wastes are wastes that can be dangerous and harmful to human health and the environment. The amount of hazardous waste is growing at an alarming rate in Australia every year. 

There has been an increase of 34% in the average annual hazardous waste arisings between 2017 to 2019. It is much higher than the average population growth. 

Hazardous waste can be in various forms such as liquids, gas, and solids. In fact, many items from your own kitchens, bathrooms, gardens, and garages can turn into hazardous wastes. They have the potential to cause several health issues. 

It is essential to handle hazardous wastes with caution as it is dangerous. Previously, these were dumped into faraway landfills. However, in this method, the chemicals infiltrate into the soil. They end up entering into your water systems. 

For the past two decades, Australians are undertaking major changes in managing their wastes. Still, the number of hazardous wastes keeps increasing. So, how should you discard hazardous wastes properly? 

Table of Contents

Read on to know the right way of disposing of hazardous wastes. 

Characteristics of Hazardous Wastes

Before you begin to get rid of hazardous wastes, it is essential to know which waste items are known to be hazardous. It will ensure that you do not miss out on any hazardous waste material during your waste management. 

It will also help you know how to dispose of these correctly. The following are the characteristics of hazardous wastes:

Flammable

Hazardous wastes can catch fire very easily. They support combustion. Their flashpoint is generally less than 60oC. 

Examples include methanol, benzene, ethanol, etc.

Reactivity

Hazardous wastes tend to be unstable in normal conditions. They are capable of generating toxic fumes and causing explosions. Explosion and violent reactions are also possible.

Sodium metals, sulfuric acid, amides, metal azides, and lithium metals are some of the examples. 

Toxic

Toxic, hazardous wastes can pollute the surrounding soil and water. These include pesticides and organic compounds.

Silver, barium, and cadmium are some of the other examples.

Corrosive

Hazardous wastes are generally acids or bases. They can corrode metal containers. 

Nitric acid, sodium hydroxide, and hydrochloric acid are some examples. 

How to Dispose of Hazardous Wastes in the Right Way?

You cannot discard hazardous wastes like regular wastes. Neither can you dump them in landfills? Hazardous wastes require some special treatment. 

You can follow the below methods to ensure that hazardous wastes are disposed of properly and safely: 

1. Locate Local Hazardous Wastes Collection Facilities

You should not mix hazardous wastes with regular household wastes. They need special handling and treatment. The best and easiest way to ensure this is to find out the local waste management facilities. 

Many such services are available in many areas. You may be unsure of how to dispose of hazardous wastes from your house or industrial produce by yourself. You can contact the waste collection or disposal services that are available in your region.

Some local communities also have their hazardous wastes collection as well as disposal facilities. You can check out if your community has one.

A few local councils also offer such hazardous wastes disposal facilities. Make sure to check out their services as well. For instance, the City Council of Brisbane has drop-off sessions all through the year. 

Residents can dispose of hazardous wastes of around 20 litres. Moreover, this service is for free. 

Your local municipals and local government organisations can also help you in providing some resources. Some even allot particular days of the month for hazardous wastes collections and disposals.

2. Recycle

Recycling is another effective method to dispose of hazardous wastes. You can recycle plenty of hazardous wastes. Some of them can also be reclaimed. 

You have to look for the sites or units in your region that accept hazardous wastes. Some offer the facilities to take your hazardous wastes. They then give it to those who will find them useful. 

You can always contact them ahead to know which hazardous wastes they accept. For instance, many facilities recycle batteries. Some units salvage and recycle used oils.

Recycling is a great way to ensure that you do not harm the environment. You will be contributing to protecting it while being useful to others. 

However, there are a few recycling methods of hazardous wastes that can be harmful. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some regulations in place to avoid this. 

3. Detox Your House

You can detox your house by getting rid of all the chemical hazardous wastes from your household. Some regions provide such disposal services. They collect your chemical hazardous wastes and dispose of or recycle them responsibly and safely.

Some of these services are offered by collaborations with the local governments. They usually collect these hazardous wastes on the weekends around the areas. 

You can dispose of the following chemical hazardous wastes:

  • Insect sprays
  • Bathroom and kitchen cleaners
  • Empty aerosol can
  • Floor cleaning products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Batteries
  • Nail polish 
  • Nail polish removers
  • Rat poison
  • Paints
  • Fertilizers
  • Fuels
  • Solvents
  • Engine oils
  • Pool chemicals
  • Glue
  • Brake fluid
  • Mobile phone
  • Antifreeze
  • Fire Extinguishers

These chemical hazardous wastes disposal facilities do not accept:

  • Chemicals that are not for household use
  • Large containers of 20 kilograms or 20 litres and above
  • Asbestos waste

4. Reduction

The reduction is an efficient disposal tactic, as well. It helps to eliminate hazardous waste before it even gets created. This method will require several changes to be adopted. 

Changes are essential in designing, manufacturing, materials, and purchases. There must be a revamp and redesign in a way that decreases the toxicity of hazardous wastes. 

Such source reduction ensures that the numbers of hazardous wastes reduce significantly. You will not face the issues of disposing of.

Some companies offer services for waste auditing. You can utilize them for your business or industry. Moreover, these are for free. It will give you a clear idea of the number of hazardous wastes your business is producing.

You can then take measures to reduce this generation of hazardous wastes. Some of the effective strategies include:

  • Lean Manufacturing tactics for producing zero wastes
  • Energy recovery systems to generate electricity through hazardous wastes
  • Environmental Management Systems for your business’ environmental footprint

5. Contact Waste Management Experts

If you do not know how to dispose of your hazardous wastes, you can reach out to waste management experts. You can consult them to review your hazardous wastes and how to discard them correctly.

If you run a business or industry, it is best to hire an expert in waste management. These experts can assess and review the sources of your hazardous wastes. 

They will then give you the best methods for disposing of hazardous wastes in the right way. They will provide you with the necessary strategies and work within your budget. These experts will also provide you with the solutions that are the most feasible for your business.

You will then gain a better understanding of how to dispose of hazardous wastes. Additionally, these experts will also come up with strategies to reduce the production of hazardous wastes. 

With alternative methods, your hazardous wastes production will reduce. You can look out for waste management experts available for hire in your area. 

What Happens If You Do Not Dispose of Hazardous Wastes in the Right Way?

You have to dispose of hazardous wastes in the right way. You cannot put them together with your other household trash bins. Additionally, you cannot pour them into your sink or bury them in soil.

Are you wondering why you should not do this? Read along to understand how dangerous it could be. 

Burying in Your Garden

You cannot bury hazardous wastes in your garden. Its toxic chemicals will infiltrate into the soil or groundwater. 

It damages your soil and will be harmful to your plants. 

Pouring it into Your Sink

Hazardous wastes will corrode your pipes. It can also block the drains. This will lead to several problems for your water treatment facilities.

It will also harm your plants. 

Disposing Along with Regular Garbage

The toxic fumes of the hazardous wastes will be dangerous to your health. You will put yourself at not only risk but also the waste collection workers.

It may lead to air and water pollution. Many serious health issues may also arise. Such illegal disposal is a punishable offence. Huge financial penalties can be imposed.

Final Thoughts

It is vital to dispose of hazardous wastes correctly and safely. If not, it leads to serious health issues. Moreover, it is harmful to animal and plant life, as well.

Both households and industries add to the rising rates of toxic wastes. To avoid serious environmental damage, it is crucial to decrease the number of hazardous wastes. You can start by ensuring that you dispose of such wastes in the right way.

Many local governments and communities are coming up with various initiatives to efficiently dispose of hazardous wastes. You can look them up and make use of these facilities. 

Make sure to follow the methods to rightly dispose of hazardous ways. You can also use the available alternatives. Let’s work together to ensure a safer planet for everyone!

Summary

The number of hazardous wastes in Australia is rising at an alarming rate. Households as well as industries are the major contributors to this increase. It is essential to reduce these increasing rates.

You cannot dispose of hazardous wastes along with your regular trash. It will lead to the spread of toxicity and be harmful to many. 

Earlier, hazardous wastes were dumped into faraway landfills. This method is, however, not safe for the environment. They can infiltrate into the soil and water systems.  

To avoid this, you have to dispose of it in the right way. For the past two decades, Australians are undertaking major changes in managing their wastes. There are some methods to dispose of hazardous wastes properly and safely.

Many local governments and communities are undertaking programs to ensure that such wastes are disposed of in the right way. You can look out for such facilities in your area. Make sure to identify your hazardous wastes by understanding their characteristics. 

Are you unsure how to dispose of your hazardous wastes in the right way? You can check out this article on ‘The Right Way of Disposing Hazardous Wastes’. 

You will understand how to correctly dispose of hazardous wastes to protect yourself, your surroundings, and the environment.

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Jacob Spencer

Jacob Spencer

Entrepreneur and Board Member of Mobile Skips.

Beside living in greater Melbourne area he studied from Monash University Australia. Have wide experience working on multiple companies.

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