Hazardous wastes and skip bin hire: what you need to know.
Living in the modern world means making a mess. Everything you create, build, and buy comes with an expiration date. Eventually, it all becomes rubbish.
The question is, what kind of rubbish and how do you dispose of it? For most items the choices of recycling, composting, and landfills exist. In the case of hazardous wastes, special care and processes need to be taken to keep it from contaminating soil and groundwater.
The good news, recycling of materials is up 34% since 2007. Sadly, hazardous waste is also up by 26% and less of it is recyclable (potentially from asbestos contamination).
It doesn’t matter if you got through a ton of waste a week or in a year, you need to know how to dispose of hazardous waste responsibly.
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Hazardous wastes definitions and classes.
It’s a common misconception that hazardous wastes only spew forth from industrial factories and large scale industries. The sad truth is far more nuanced. While large companies do produce significant waste, thousands of tonnes are also tossed out of residential homes each year.
You likely toss out some items without giving them a second thought. You may have never asked, what are the four types of hazardous waste? Between the EPA and the Basel Convention, a lot of terms exist for defining hazardous wastes.
Waste that possesses any of these four characteristics are hazardous: ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic. The following is a breakdown of each type with a list of hazardous waste items.
Cleaning materials used in the home are often hazardous. They are either corrosive or reactive. They kinda have to be to get the job done.
Outside of that, lights can contain halogen and fluorescent materials that are toxic. Paints contain toxic materials in the forms of pigments and sealants.
Automotive batteries are the worst offenders containing substances that are toxic, ignitable, reactive, and corrosive.
Medical and clinical wastes contain toxic materials and biological agents that represent risks. Pharmaceutical agents are also a type of reactive waste, they need to be disposed of properly to avoid affecting wildlife and water supplies.
All of those batteries and bits of old electronic equipment also contain harmful materials. The majority of them are either toxic or ignitable.
Cables and circuits contain traces of heavy metals that are both toxic and corrosive.
Not all harmful waste is hazardous waste. This category covers things that are harmful beyond humans. Oils, hydrocarbons, and pesticides pose more of a threat to the ecosystem than people
Hazardous items need to be disposed of separately to keep the contamination from affecting other items. It’s hard to get all the chemicals back in the bottle when they spill.
By keeping these items separate, it saves immense time and effort in storing and/or breaking down the waste
Know the limits.
Separating your waste by type is a good way to ensure everything gets handled appropriately. The bits that can be reused are, the bits that can’t go somewhere, and the hazardous wastes don’t harm the environment.
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