How to Dispose Of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Responsibly?

One thing that most households have in common is the accumulation of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). It seems they cannot help but accumulate things such as cans of old paint, tins of gasoline, worn-out batteries, and whatnot.

Household Hazardous, Household Hazardous Waste, HHW, junk removal company

While you may not realize but it is important to dispose of them in the most suitable way that does not pose a threat to the environment. You must remember that they are not your regular household waste. So, before you decide to hire a junk removal company in London, know everything you need to.

Disposing of these household hazardous wastes is not easy. In the first place, you may not be entirely sure if you need to call a hazardous waste collection company. Sometimes, people also wonder if some of these hazardous items are recyclable or reusable.

But before we delve deep into the ways suitable for this type of hazardous waste disposal, let us explore its definition first.

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Any waste that poses possible threats to public health or the environment is what we call hazardous waste. According to law, it needs special care to ensure safe disposal.

HHW exhibits the following features:

  • Corrosivity

There are certain household wastes that exhibit corrosive characteristics of substances. Some examples of such corrosive items include industrial-strength cleaners containing strong acids (hydrochloric or sulfuric acid). Car batteries come under this category that contain sulfuric acid.

  • Ignitability

If a particular item possesses flammable characteristics, it becomes hazardous. Common household items that are ignitable include oxidizers, gasoline, propane tanks, and more.

  • Reactivity

Any waste that is potentially combustible if mixed together with other substances or exposed to higher temperatures are reactive waste. For example, filled or partially filled aerosol cans, which when exposed to high temperatures can lead to an explosion.

  • Toxicity

Toxic wastes are those that contain substances that, if inhaled or consumed can have serious, or deadly, and lead to major health consequences.

Now that you have a general understanding of what features hazardous wastes usually have, let us walk you through the ways for their disposal.

Methods for Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

Dispose of HHW in regular garbage if your local laws permit

Well, this method of disposal is allowed in certain areas, while others do not permit the same. For instance, aerosol sprays are hazardous, however, many areas allow households to toss empty aerosol cans into the garbage.

However, if you want to empty the can before throwing it away, make sure you are very careful with the step. Follow the specific steps and rules for recycling aerosol cans.

[H3] What about asbestos? Waste management contractors are your lifesaver

Asbestos removal could be dangerous. This is why many hazardous waste collection facilities do not accept these items. So, it is better to contact an asbestos contractor beforehand to know if they can dispose of it properly.

Recycle is key – do it as much as you can with your hazardous waste

Recycling hazardous waste including batteries or other electronics parts means you are participating in the welfare of the Earth. This also means your carbon footprint is minimal and you do not pose a threat to the humankind.

Old engine oils, and lead-acid batteries are hazardous items that households should recycle. It is imperative for homeowners to dispose of these items in the most suitable way, ensuring state laws are adhered to.

Items like mercury are also recyclable. Therefore, storing mercury carefully in an air-tight container before disposal is a must.

Reuse items, of course if you can

A great alternative and more eco-friendly option to dispose of HHW is to reuse. This is because it contributes to reducing carbon footprint. For instance, you can consider reusing solvents with paint thinners by closing the container entirely and then enabling the paint to settle to the bottom of the container. Now the solvent is ideal for reuse. Once you are at this stage, let the sludge dry out first. Then discard it.

You can also reuse the containers of paints. For instance, you can repaint the fully dried-out cans to reuse them as pots for plants and other decorative items.

Share or donate, if possible

There is no more effective way to manage hazardous waste than sharing or donating them. By doing so, you can prevent items like fertilizers, auto oil, paint, or acids from wasting. If you feel the items are no longer suitable for use or you have extra, consider giving them away to those who find them useful.

You can offer donations to entities such as schools, homeless shelters, community centers, charities, local businesses, churches, and more.

Dilute hazardous waste instead of disposing them of

While this may sound simple, you need to be extra cautions with this. You need to follow specific guidelines to ensure safety. If done correctly, dilution is an excellent way to increase the use of household hazardous waste by either diluting them with the same material or with water while safely storing the additional amount for future applications.

You can dilute the following HHW items:

  • Gasoline: Dilute 1 part of old gasoline to 5 parts of new gasoline. Store the mixture in an air-tight container. Label it properly. Make sure you store it in a cool and dry place away, where there are no moisture, high temperatures, pets, or children.
  • Antifreeze: Get your hands on a clean, 1-gallon size container. Make sure it has a tight and secure seal. Then pour half gallon of antifreeze into a one-gallon size container. Mix half gallon of antifreeze with distilled water. Make sure it has 50% antifreeze and 50% distilled water mixed.

Close the lids of the leftover antifreeze and the diluted antifreeze securely. Store additional antifreeze in a place that is safe, away from pets or children.

If you live in a place with colder climates, consider using a higher percentage of antifreeze. This is to protect against low temperatures.

A word of caution: Never use this method if the wastewater goes to a septic tank or cesspool. This is because it has the potential to affect these systems, while damaging groundwater to a great extent. Ensure that you only dilute antifreeze if your house is connected to a sewer.

Never mix different types of chemicals because it could lead to serious consequences.

Check what your local gas station accepts

Gas stations, sometimes, accept various types of automotive waste including brake fluid, transmission fluid, or diesel fuel. When taking your automobile waste to such facilities, however, make sure you do not mix the products with motor oil. This can cause a dangerous situation that you do not want to be in.

To conclude

This is not to deny that hazardous waste has become a worldwide public health and environmental concern. So, it is vital to determine what items you are disposing of, how much of it you want to dispose of, how to store it before disposal, how to treat the same, and how to transport it.

Most people choose to dispose of hazardous waste by collaborating with an HHW collection facility. They have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to make sure the waste is disposed of properly. Some people often prefer partnering with a local waste collector to ensure environmental and public safety.

Stay updated with the latest Global news, trends, and gadget reviews on NcesPro. Contact us: