There’s 7.1 billion of us, and each of us generates 4.3 pounds of garbage a day.
We don’t think twice before throwing away things we don’t need. Things like banana peels, junk mail, or used water bottles. It’s a pretty simple process that has become second nature for us. You throw away things that don’t function and are of no use to you—it’s not rocket science. Thankfully, there are some of us that go the extra mile by recycling and composting. Then there are others who go even further by separately throwing away toxic household hazardous items.
Toxic household hazardous waste…WHAT?!
Yes, you read it correctly. Our home and office trash cans are victims of toxic household hazardous waste. What are household hazardous waste items exactly? They’re items you shouldn’t be throwing in your home or office trash cans for various reasons. Keep reading to find out what exactly can’t be disposed of in home and office trash cans.
–Batteries: They’re small and totally not a big deal to just toss into the trash can, right? Well, yes, but don’t do it! They’re full of metals and chemicals that shouldn’t end up at a regular garbage collection facility. These little guys should be disposed of at your local household hazardous waste facility. Yes, those exist! Keep in mind that there are several retail stores that offer services to recycle old batteries for you.
–Smoke detectors: To keep your home safe, make sure you replace your smoke detector every ten years. There are two types of smoke detectors—ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors need to be shipped back to the company that created it. Photoelectric smoke detectors aren’t that much of a pain, and can be disposed at common electronic recycling facilities. Please make sure batteries have been removed and dropped off to your nearest household hazardous waste facility.
–Old electronics: Updating your electronic products can be lots of fun, but what do you do with that plasma TV that’s already at home? You can either put it in other bedrooms or try your luck on resale sites like Craigslist. If you’re just done with it, then there is a proper way to dispose of it. Putting it in your driveway for the garbage truck to pick up? Nope, that’s convenient, but it’s not the proper way to dispose of old electronics. That old school plasma TV needs to be taken to an electronic waste facility to be properly disposed. The EPA’s website has all the 411 on e- waste facilities. Check it out here.
–Compact fluorescent light bulbs: They’re energy efficient, and save us hundreds on our power bills yearly. They’re eco- friendly when working, but they aren’t so eco- friendly once they’re disposed in our household trash cans. Reason being is that they contain a little bit of Mercury, which isn’t good for landfills. Mercury is a volatile metal, and it can build within organisms and make its way up the food chain to us. Mercury poisoning is fatal, and can damage our vital organs! Glass thermometers contain mercury as well, and they need to disposed of at household hazardous waste facilities.
–Oil- based paints: Have half a bucket of paint leftover from freshly painting your home? You don’t have to throw it away, donate it to a non- profit organization that helps build homes or structures. Ask your friends on Facebook if they need any paint for an upcoming project. If that doesn’t work then you can always take it to your local household hazardous waste facility. They’ll be more than happy to take it off your hands.
–Motor Oil: This has to be disposed of properly, as it is so hazardous to our environment. The only legal way to dispose of it is to pour it into a clean plastic container that can be secured with a tight lid. You can then take it to a recycling facility that’ll take it from you. Did you know that pouring motor oil down the drain can be damaging to fish, and freshwater? It only takes one gallon of motor oil to contaminate 1 million gallons of freshwater. Please do not mix any other liquid into the motor oil container as it wouldn’t be suitable for recycling.
A Small Note From Us:
Similarly, there are some objects you cannot throw in our roll off dumpster rentals either. We ask that you don’t dispose of hazardous waste, chemical products, motor oil, transmission oil/ hydraulic oil/ oil filters, herbicides & pesticides, solvents, paints, flammable liquids, aerosol cans, propane tanks, antifreeze, appliances, petroleum contaminated soil/ lead paint chips, tires, batteries, computers, monitors, televisions, microwaves, railroad ties, medical waste, asbestos, animals, barrels, all liquids. Please be sure to level off the container paying close attention to things that are sticking out or hanging over the sides. Please use Earth911 and the EPA’s website to figure out how the products mentioned in this post can be disposed of properly. It’s pretty simple, and your cooperation can benefit our environment and sustain it.
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