How to safely dispose of hazardous household waste

What types of waste are hazardous?

Do you know what types of household waste are hazardous? You might be handling items which could potentially harm your health or the environment without realising.

It is highly important that hazardous items are disposed of correctly to prevent this, so below we outline things to consider when disposing of hazardous household waste.

Examples of potentially hazardous waste items include:

-          Asbestos

-          Pesticides

-          Oils

-          Some paints

-          Heavy duty household cleaning products

-          Some household and car batteries

-          Old electrical equipment e.g. fridges, computer monitors

All of these items might be deemed hazardous and potentially damaging to humans and/or the environment if disposed of incorrectly. They should never be disposed of by placing in your normal rubbish bin or by tipping down the drain.

But what if safe disposal is more of a hassle than just throwing something in the bin?

Responsible waste disposal is hugely important, especially in the face of growing populations and therefore increasing volumes of waste.

Incorrect disposal of certain items can risk of exposure to cancer-causing waste such as asbestos, of to toxic gas released by old fridges, or even explosion of disintegrating car batteries.

Chemical waste can cause soil contamination, and harmful substances might get into our water system or crops which are then sold as food.

Not only this, but the release of harmful household chemicals into the water table poses serious dangers to vulnerable ecosystems.

It is, therefore, vital that you make yourself aware of how to dispose of potentially harmful household items responsibly.

Things to consider what disposing of hazardous waste responsibly:

  1. Reduce the volume of waste:

The first thing you can do is minimise the waste you are generating. For potentially harmful products such as paints and oils, try and use as much of the product as possible before disposing of the container.

If you are finished with the product, ask a friend or neighbour if they might need it.

This is a small thing we can do regarding everything we use in order to reduce the volume of waste we generate overall.

  1. Read the label:

It is always important to read the label of items to see what information is given regarding the hazardous nature of a product, and what the manufacturer recommends for its safe disposal.

  1. What form does the hazard take- chemical or physical?

Can it irritate or burn the skin? Is it flammable? Is it used outside/inside? Does it require protective clothing?

The type of hazard is also important to consider when deciding how to dispose of an item, as it will often determine what method is best and how vigilant you should be.

For example, household electrics need to be carefully dismantled ensuring that they chemical components do not pose any danger at their site of disposal; and asbestos usually needs to be placed in a landfill site specifically used for hazardous waste, of placed in a separate self-contained cell within ordinary landfill sites.

Items might not pose obvious harm to an individual, but it could cause damage to ecosystems and natural environments, and even pollute valuable water supplies if disposed of incorrectly. Liquid items are particularly relevant here e.g. emulsion paint and garden pesticides.

  1. Hazardous waste management solutions:

Some types of hazardous household waste will require assistance from professional services e.g. asbestos, as their potential to cause harm is too great for DIY disposal centres.

Skip hire companies such as ours can provide complete services, including dropping off and picking up skips for you to use, providing expert advice on what should be put in skips, what might need to be recycled elsewhere, and how items could be better re-used rather than just disposed of.

Professional waste management services are committed to responsible disposal of hazardous waste to keep it out of open landfill sites, prevent it from harming the environment and turning waste back into a usable product where possible.