While industries are required by law to dispose of the hazardous waste that they generate in a safe manner, many households are not held to this requirement. Consequently, individuals and families are not aware of the amount of dangerous and environmentally damaging waste they generate. This lack of awareness caused them to dispose the waste without taking any precautionary measures.
The Dangers of Improper Disposal
If not properly disposed of, hazardous waste can:
- Place sanitation workers and others who come into contact with it, at risk.
- If poured down drains, it contaminate septic tanks and wastewater treatment facilities.
- If poured down drains, it can pollute the water bodies that the drains empty into.
- If sent to unprotected landfills, it will contaminate surface and ground water that is a source of drinking water.
Examples of Hazardous Waste
The list of potentially hazardous waste that a home can generate is huge. Here is a very small list of the seemingly safe and innocent but actually toxic waste, a home can generate:
- Rat and other rodent poisons
- Insecticides and herbicides
- Oven cleaners
- Drain openers
- Nail polish and polish removers
- Wood and metal cleaner
- Cosmetics of various kinds
- Automotive oils
The list goes on and on. Contact your town authorities or a green trash haulage company for more information.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows that it is not possible to regulate the waste from every household in the country. It has therefor developed a household waste exemption policy that is constantly evolving, to allow homes to control the waste they generate ina convenient yet safe manner. More information is available at the EPA website.
Every state has its own laws and policies on this matter. Click here for information on the policies and regulations in California.
Ways to Reduce Waste
Controlling the generation of hazardous waste does not mean any drastic change in lifestyle. All it requires is taking a little care in disposing of trash and using your common sense. Among the things you can do are:
- Buy things only in the quantity you need and only when you need them.
- Donate unused portions to community organizations or share them with friends.
- There are specific disposal policies and sites for a number of toxic items. Learn where they are and how to use them.
- Take a little time to read product information on labels carefully. Whenever possible, try to buy a nonhazardousalternative to a hazardous one.
- Ensure that a toxic product is completely used before throwing it away.
- Do not remove product labels or removeproducts from their originalcontainers.
- Do not mix toxic and not toxic material together.
Being an environmentally friendly home is not difficult. All it takes is a little awareness of the types and quantities of waste being generated and its proper disposal. The best way to ensure that you are doing it the right way is to use the services of a registered trash and junk haulage company that is committed to and is known for recycling as much of the waste it collects. Also choose a company that dumps the rest in a safe and approved manner. It will not cost you anything extra and in fact, the best ones offer a discount on loads that contain a minimum amount of recyclable material.