Though you may not realize it, household hazardous waste is a common part of most homes around the country. Household staples such as glue and tape, paint, batteries, and more can be classified as hazardous materials.
Understanding Household Hazardous Waste
While landfills, in general, can be environmentally damaging, there are some items that have the potential to cause far more damage than others. These items have a significant, negative impact on not only the environment but also potentially workers who handle these materials.
These items can also be useful to our everyday lives. When depleted, however, the risk they pose is significant. While there are a host of household items that can cause damage to the environment, household hazardous waste is labeled as such due to the fact that, according to the EPA, these items are “corrosive or toxic” or may “catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances.”
Can Household Hazardous Waste be Recycled?
When people think of hazardous waste, they think of items that are too dangerous for people to handle or that can cause damage simply by being out in the open.
However, the reality is a little more nuanced than that. Hazardous waste is labeled as such because the product in question contains material(s) that can be dangerous to the environment. However, this is not the case for every component of the item.
One of the fastest-growing categories of hazardous waste is electronic items. These include home appliances such as fridges and microwaves and technology items such as televisions, laptops, phones, and music players. These items can easily be recycled. In fact, some of the component metals are extremely expensive, and it is far more cost-effective for companies to extract these materials from old and discarded items than to mine for new material.
Other recyclable hazardous materials include lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes. While the materials used to produce light can be harmful to the environment if they leak out, other materials such as the glass used in the production of these items are frequently recycled.
This is why it is important to sort your waste before disposing of it or to contact a trustworthy waste disposal business to handle your household hazardous waste. In this way, you can be confident that recyclables are making their way to the correct facilities.
How Can You Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly?
As discussed, one of the main ways to responsibly dispose of hazardous waste from your household is to recycle it where possible. However, not all such waste can be recycled.
Some items, such as household chemicals, old medications, and more, cannot be recycled. In such a situation, you have a few options.
You can drop off items at a government facility or local business that accepts them for disposal. This is particularly useful for products that may be able to be reused. Some such items include ammunition, which can be dropped off at your local police department, old fire extinguishers, which you can hand off to your fire department, and old toys, which can be donated to homeless shelters and charities like Goodwill. You may also be able to drop off old medication at local pharmacies or hospitals.
If you do not have a local pharmacy that accepts old medications, it is recommended that you check FDA guidelines on how to dispose of them properly or talk to a physician or medical professional regarding the same.
You can also contact a waste pickup company that deals with hazardous waste. These companies will pick up your waste from your home and dispose of it properly. By contracting a professional to do it for you, you can be confident that all local and federal laws and guidelines regarding the disposal of hazardous waste are being followed. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about getting to understand the law yourself, as you will not have to personally handle the disposal of the materials.
If you’re looking for a business that can help you dispose of your household hazardous waste in Springfield, MO, contact The Junk Pirates at (417) 815-5865. We can get you started with a complimentary estimate and schedule a pick-up at your convenience.