Almost everything we dispose of at home can go into our trash bins. But household hazardous waste products cannot be hauled away even by pro junk haulers.
And household hazardous waste, or HHW, must be properly handled and disposed of. But it can be a confusing and sometimes difficult task for many people.
When Better Living Through Chemistry Means Toxic Waste
When many of us were much younger, either in grade school or junior high, we often were treated to old educational films - for some of us with a film projector! And many of them were touting the advances and benefits of science and chemistry, and how these were making our everyday lives better, easier, and healthier.
And, to a great extent, much of that is true. But there's a dark side.
Today we know that many of the products we use at home are relatively safe when used properly in the home, but can be harmful and toxic otherwise. In addition, when we toss out those old batteries, certain types of light bulb, electronics, and almost-empty bottles of many, many types of chemical products, we are tossing out hazardous waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically categorizes these types of waste products from homes Household Hazardous Waste, or HHW.
"EPA considers some leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic as household hazardous waste. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them."
Unfortunately, the list of leftover or used consumer products that fall under the heading of HHW is quite long.
While not regulated by the federal government, household hazardous waste is regulated on the state and local level.
More unfortunate for residential consumers is that most of these items cannot legally be disposed of in your household trash or at a landfill. And, in most places, only specially licensed carriers can legally transport many of these items, as well.
Which means you can't have a local junk removal firm like Junk King haul them away for you.
However, there are many options provided by various local government agencies and many commercial residential waste management providers, depending on where you live.
We put together this graphic guide to household hazardous waste along that includes some key points on proper removal and disposal of HHW.
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Thinking About the Household Hazardous Waste in Your Household
Depending on where you live, it is quite possible to simply toss your leftover household chemicals like cleaning products and solvents into your home's trash bins. And this could apply to batteries, old lightbulbs containing mercury, and flammable products.
According to an article at Science Direct,
"According to one estimate, households in the US generate 1.6 million tons of HHW annually. The actual number may vary widely from this value due to the absence of an official monitoring and disposal system for HHW. Unlike with industrial hazardous waste, no disposal regulations exist for HHW. Many products are put out with non-hazardous waste for curbside pickup. The waste is then transported with regular refuse to municipal landfills incapable of handling hazardous waste. HHW then leaches toxins into underlying aquifers and water systems."
Part of the problem is this fact of toxic substances leaching into groundwater sources.
Because municipal solid waste landfills are not designed to handle hazardous waste materials, some water-soluble wastes have potential to leach out of containment and drain into adjacent aquifers.
So, while disposal of HHW may not be legally regulated where you live, there are typically many options you can make use of to help dispose of these items in an environmentally safe manner.
As the Science Direct story also noted,
"Many cities now have HHW pickup facilities at waste management plants, universities, and other publically accessible locations. Some communities also provide special collection days for HHW pickups. Ultimately, however, it is the individual’s task to identify and deposit HHW safely."
Another solution involves making intentional purchasing decisions to buy non-toxic and organic products. Using alternatives and substitutes for many common chemical-based products is also a way to reduce the amount of HHW that you need to dispose of.
The EPA offers some tips on HHW reduction in the home:
- Drain Cleaner: Use a plunger or plumber's snake.
- Glass Cleaner: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in one quart of water.
Spray on and use newspaper to dry.
- Furniture Polish: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in one pint of mineral or vegetable oil
and wipe furniture.
- Rug Deodorizer: Liberally sprinkle carpets with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes
and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
- Silver Polish: Boil two to three inches of water in a shallow pan with one teaspoon of salt,
one teaspoon of baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for two to three more minutes. Wipe away tarnish and repeat if necessary.
- Mothballs: Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mints or white peppercorns.
Keep in mind, too, that many waste products are recyclable. Batteries, for example, as well as old fire extinguishers, most electronics, fluorescent bulbs, and LED bulbs.
Recycle, repurpose, and reuse - and opt for safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of your household hazardous wastes where possible.
Call Junk King for Your Residential Junk and Waste Removal
A great thing about working with Junk King is that we provide you efficient, safe, and eco-friendly residential waste and junk removal designed to make the whole process easy for you - every time.
Not only does our experienced junk removal team have all the resources needed to remove and haul away large unwanted junk items like old appliances or furniture, but we can also haul away just about any other junk and trash items you need to get rid of.
And we always remove your junk and waste quickly, safely, and in an environmentally safe manner.
That's because your local Junk King team will always make sure that your reusable junk items end up in the right place. This could be a local non-profit group for items that are still in good, usable condition. Or, for all those other unusable items that really don't need to go into a landfill, we have pioneered a recycling and reuse process that means we are always "being green."
We make sure that your all household junk is disposed of in an eco-friendly method.
That's because at Junk King, being green and environmentally responsible is at the core of our company mission. And we carry out that mission every day by recycling, donating, or repurposing everything we possibly can - up to 60 percent or more, to be exact.
So, when it comes to junk removal, we do all we can to help achieve zero waste by making sure that all the metals, plastics, glass, and other materials are broken down and recycled properly.
And, best of all, we do all the heavy lifting!
You simply point and we haul your junk items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
Our professional and insured junk removal and disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your home. And, once we’re there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your bulk trash will take up in our truck, along with any other junk items you want to get rid of.
Ready to get rid of your junk and waste with a green company? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).