What is hazardous waste? Hazardous waste, for those who are unsure, is a solid, liquid or gas material that can cause damage to the environment or to the health of the people or animals in the area. A few examples of hazardous waste include:
- Paints and solvents
- Flammable liquids (Acetone, diesel, ethanol, gasoline, etc.)
- Mercury-containing wastes (thermometers, fluorescent lighting, etc.)
- Electronics (computers, TV’s, mobile phones)
Containers should also be clearly marked if they are hazardous materials.
Why is it important? For this type of waste it’s important that they are disposed of properly to avoid damage to the environment. They should also not be disposed of with other household or garden waste. Improper disposal of hazardous waste can pollute the local water supply, cause harm to animals in the environment, and pollute the air.
It is important you know how to safely dispose of your hazardous waste, and here are a few examples of ways you can do that without much haste at all:
- Reuse and recycle
Some hazardous wastes can be recycled into a brand new product. For example things like batteries, aerosols and circuit boards can be recycled whilst also reducing the threat of harmful chemicals.
- Reduce your hazardous waste!
Industries are already looking into ways to reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals they use in their products. So maybe it’s time we reduce the amount of hazardous waste we use on a daily basis and help the environment.
Easy ways how you can reduce your hazardous waste is to substitute hazardous materials with non-hazardous materials (a look online at some of your favourite products can show you what is hazardous and what is not) and separate your waste (waste bins should make this easy enough) to avoid cross-contamination.
- Land disposal
Proper disposal of waste depends on the type of waste it is, i.e. solid waste is often disposed of in units that you can find close to you. Areas are set up round the country specifically for your safe disposing of hazardous waste. It is all natural and done to protect the environment around them and to reduce the impact the waste has on the environment.
- Check to see if there are any waste collection facilities in your area
Just one click on your local government website will allow you to check if there are any current waste collection facilities set up in your area to help you safely dispose of your hazardous waste if you, or a friend, are unsure on how to do it yourself. They should be able to tell you what days and what time the collection is set for and if you want your house to be a local pickup spot.
It’s also important to know if there are any waste units in your area, not just land disposal, where you can safely dispose of your waste yourself. I.e. Some units may only let you dispose of electronics, garden waste, paints, etc.