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.

How to tackle waste when moving home

When moving home, it’s inevitable that you’ll be sorting through everything you own, and it’s also inevitable that there will be a lot of things amongst those possessions that you don’t want any more. But what do you do with it all?

Whether you’re dealing with children’s toys, furniture, living room décor, or all of the above, the things you want to get rid of can really add up, and whilst some of it could be reused, you’re likely to discover a lot of unnecessary clutter too.

There’s no point in moving those kinds of things from your old home to your new home, which is why moving home is the perfect time to have a huge clear out. Not to mention the waste that moving home leaves; all those boxes, all that newspaper.

So, how can you tackle that waste when moving home? We’ve put together some of our top tips.

Don’t pack things you haven’t used for years

This can be seen as an obvious start, however, you’d be surprised at how many of you can’t bring themselves to throw away things – even if they haven’t used them (or seen them!) for years. There’s always some kind of excuse, isn’t there?

“Oh, you never know when this will come in handy”. “Oh, this might be useful for so and so when they move house next year”. “Oh, what are a few more years of putting it in the attic going to do?”

Stop! This is unnecessary packing and space that’s filling up the removal van and your new home. Do something useful with them like taking it them to a charity shop or selling them. Or if you know that they’re unlikely to be bought or usable, get rid of them – in the most efficient way possible.

Hire a skip

As we’ve just mentioned, you are bound to find possessions that aren’t suited to finding a new home. But don’t just dump it and expect your usual bin men to collect it – chucking your old sofa on the street outside your house isn’t going to get you anywhere.

This is where we come in. At A Plus Skips, we have a range of mini skips to hire which are perfect for individuals and families that are moving house and find a lot of needless junk that they can’t do anything with.

We take care of the waste for you, making sure all that can be recycled is recycled in our mission to reduce landfill sites, as well as the complexities and the costs that come with it. As one of the cheapest skip hires in Dublin, we’re good for your wallet as well as the environment!

Don’t buy new removal boxes

So many boxes are thrown away every day which is not only a huge waste of money, but also a huge waste of materials. If you know of anyone that has recently moved house, they’ll be sure to have some boxes left over for you to use or borrow. If not, ask around at your local supermarkets if they have any boxes that they’re looking to throw out any.

The same goes for you once you have moved out and you’re done with the boxes. Pass them on! Don’t just throw them out. It’s environmentally-friendly and helping out a neighbour, whereas there’s little to gain from chucking them in the bin.

Use suitcases

You could even use your suitcases and drawers to pack up your things and take them to your new home. You don’t need to empty out your chest of drawers into a cardboard box. You can just make the most of the space in the furniture, those suitcases and the bags you’ll be packing anyway. It’s killing two birds with one stone.

Reuse newspaper

When the months and weeks are coming closer to your big move day, start thinking about keeping hold of the newspapers and magazines you’ve already read. This will save you on buying out your local newsagents’ selection of papers in a mad panic when you start packing up your stuff.

Newspaper is the cheap and practical solution for wrapping china and ornaments, amongst other more delicate things that you own and want to protect on the journey to your new home. Plus, once you’ve made the most of your newspaper, it’s easy to dispose of efficiently.

Simply recycle it by using your local collection, or even use it in other ways. One way to get that log burner going in your new home perhaps?

Reuse textiles

If you’re not an avid reader of newspapers or magazines, there are plenty other resources that you can use to protect your plates, mugs, and precious ornaments. That bedding you’re packing? That could make a great protector for those delicate items too. Same with all the towels and other bed sheets you’ve got.

This can work as a replacement for newspaper packaging, or accompany it nicely. It will save you a lot of money on bubble wrap, and will significantly reduce the amount of waste you have to deal with after the big move.

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