While most people would assume they know the appropriate waste solutions for everyday household projects, the fact of the matter is there are certain requirements for proper waste disposal that we tend to lack awareness of. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to effectively disposing some of these questionable materials is what to do with common household chemicals (and their containers) once we’re finished with them.
Types of these regularly-used household chemicals can range from bleach, drain cleaners, laundry detergent, floor polish, paint thinner, and just about any chemical-based product you use on a regular basis. These types of chemical products are often considered to be a type of hazardous waste, which is anything that’s considered to have a, ‘substantial or potential threat to public health or the environment’.
Researchers indicate there are 13 tons of hazardous waste produced every single second, equating to around 400 million tons of hazardous waste produced every year. If you’re trying to reduce your contribution to hazardous waste and better commit to environmental sustainability, take a look at how to properly dispose of some of the more common household chemicals we use in our everyday lives.
Hazardous Waste in Everyday Household Products
Very rarely take time to read the labels on various household products, but if we did more often, we’d be surprised to learn just how many supplies or materials we use in our everyday lives that contain hazardous wastes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the four major types of hazardous waste can be defined as:
● Toxic Wastes: Anything that if used incorrectly or exposed to in small doses can cause severe illness or death. Generally highly toxic chemicals that include pesticides, cleaning products, paints, photographic supplies, art supplies, and more.
● Corrosive Wastes: Any materials, including solids, that are deemed acids or bases, or that produce acidic or alkaline solutions, such as battery acid.
● Reactive Wastes: Any substances or materials that can react with air, water, or other substances to cause rapid heating or explosions, such as acids, lithium-sulfur batteries, and explosives.
● Ignitable Wastes: Any substance or material that is flammable, such as charcoal lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, and nail polish remover.
While some of these types of waste can be collected by your residential or commercial waste service, each of them requires unique handling and disposal methods to prevent the rest of your waste or recycling from becoming contaminated.
How to Properly Dispose Your Household Chemicals
We’re always taught how to safely use or store household chemicals, but never really informed on how to properly dispose of them. Here’s a quick breakdown of proper handling and disposal of household hazardous wastes.
When it comes time to get rid of any expiring or empty cleaning products, such as bathroom cleaner, drain opener, oven cleaner, rust remover, etc., most of these liquid-based products can be safely disposed of down the drain and recycled when empty. However, you’ll need to check the labels on all of these products to review any specific disposal instructions in the event one of them contains a more hazardous chemical than the others. In that case, you should contact your local recycling service to determine whether that product should be taken to an official waste disposal dropoff location.
Automotive Fluids & Products
It’s surprising how many old, stale, expired, or empty automotive products you’ll find in your garage during a spring cleaning session! If you’re looking to dispose of any automotive fluid-based products, such as antifreeze, radiator fluid, or oil, you’ll almost certainly have to take them to a specific waste disposal dropoff location that specializes in handling these hazardous forms of waste. You can also contact any nearby automobile repair shops to see if they’ll accept any fluid containers or packaging.
Paint, Interior, & Exterior Stain Products
For most people, paint or wood stain products will stay untouched for decades, typically in the garage or in the basement. These products have an extreme longevity, lasting for 15-20 years if stored and sealed correctly. If you find yourself in need of removing them for whatever reason, these items shouldn’t be discarded with your residential or commercial waste service. Instead, consider dropping them off at a local home improvement store that can easily and properly reuse them.
Fertilizer & Plant Chemicals
Any type of chemical that’s utilized for your lawn or garden are the types of household products that tend to be the most hazardous, and should never be mixed in with your everyday trash or recycling. The chemicals themselves should never be dumped down a drain, inside or outside of your home. Be sure to contact your waste service provider to see where the best waste disposal drop off location for any of these types of products is, in order to ensure that they’re safely accounted for.
Contact LJP Waste Solutions for Safe and Secure Waste Solutions
Having a professional and accommodating residential waste service provider will help you make sure you’re safely disposing of all the hazardous household chemicals we use in our everyday lives. When you need a reputable waste solutions provider, contact LJP Waste Solutions today to learn more about how we safely and securely handle all forms of waste we receive, in an effort to better commit to environmental sustainability.