What do you think when you hear hazardous waste? Often, people imagine hazardous waste as tanks full of chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment. While that is true, sometimes toxic wastes are in solids or gases and can be in small containers. Some of the products we use in our homes, like pesticides, wood preservation products, paints, etc., are toxic. Are you looking for information on proper hazardous waste disposal? Or perhaps you need to understand how to discard the harmful waste to avoid health risks? Whether you are a community, business, or homeowner, proper storage and disposal of dangerous waste are imperative. Toxic waste is highly regulated to avert health and environmental risks. For appropriate waste management, you need to know how to identify harmful waste and handle them properly.
How do you identify hazardous waste?
According to Environmental Protection Agency, hazardous waste falls into four categories;
- Ignitable waste. This type of waste is highly flammable, which means it can catch fire under certain conditions. Examples of such wastes include paints, gasoline, and solvents.
- Corrosive waste. Any type of waste that corrodes things, including metals and the containers used to keep them, is hazardous—examples of corrosive waste are acid or alkaline-based cleaning products, rust removers, and battery acids. Any product with a PH value< or equal to 2.0 or > or equal to 12.5 fits in the category of corrosive waste, and you should handle it with care.
- Reactive waste. A reactive product can explode or releases toxic fumes when exposed to water, acid, or alkaline materials. Remember, reactive materials are always unstable, and compressing, heating, or mixing them with water is a disaster recipe. Examples of hazardous waste are sodium and potassium metals, cyanide plating, and compressed aerosol cans.
- Toxic waste. Anything lethal when ingested or absorbed falls under the poisonous waste category. When you dispose of this type of waste on land, it can leach into and contaminate the groundwater. Components of such materials include mercury and lead.
Once you understand how to identify hazardous waste at home, the next step is to store them safely as you plan dangerous waste disposal. What’s more, proper storage of harmful products ensures your safety, safety of animals and the environment.
How to handle and store hazardous waste.
- One of the best ways to handle toxic products at home is reading and understanding the product label. First, harmful household or construction products come with clear guidelines to help you manage and store them properly at home.
- Keep the hazardous material in their original containers and never mix household hazardous waste to avoid any potential risks.
- Designate a specific storage area for your hazardous waste that is out of reach for children, pets, or unauthorized persons.
- Ensure that you handle corroding containers with extra care. Hazardous waste that corrodes containers can leak and expose you and the environment to risks. You can look for a dangerous waste expert to help you store or dispose of corrosive waste.
- Avoid mixing your hazardous household waste with your regular trash because it can contaminate the garbage or pose risks to waste management workers at the disposal center.
Hazardous waste disposal and reduction.
Given the harmful nature of hazardous waste, proper hazardous waste disposal is indispensable. One way to dispose of your hazardous waste is to check with your local community for dangerous waste collection days.
Additionally, another option is to haul your hazardous waste to the nearest facility that handles harmful materials. Some junk haulers provide options for e-waste and toxic construction debris.
Finally, you can reduce hazardous materials by using alternative eco-friendly products.