You may actually be throwing hazardous waste away and not even realize it. There are many items in our homes that are actually classified as hazardous waste, and should therefore be disposed of separately form the rest of our household waste. Here’s what you need to be aware of:
Batteries are a part of just about every home’s power supply, and while most alkaline batteries can be thrown away with the rest of the garbage (or recycled if you have the facilities in your area), any other types of batteries, ranging from rechargeable to automotive to lithium to zinc are classified as hazardous waste and should be taken to the right facility for disposal.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Not many homes use fluorescent light bulbs anymore, but if you are using compact fluorescent bulbs to save energy, you should know that these bulbs are made with mercury and therefore need to be disposed of in the right way, so they do not release mercury into the environment. Most hardware stores will have a place where you can recycle these bulbs. If yours does not, inquire with your local government about how to safely dispose of them.
You may occasionally use corrosive cleaners during your house cleaning routine. Don’t just pour these down the drain when you are done with them. Instead, take them to a hazardous waste disposal facility, so they can taken care of properly.
You probably have used some sort of pesticide or herbicide to keep your yard free of pests and weeds. When it comes time to dispose of the bottles, they should be taken to a hazardous waste site.
Did you know that your electronics could be damaging the environment? If you have electronics of any kind that you want to get rid of, look for a local business or facility that specifically says it recycles electronics.
Only throw aerosol cans into the garbage if you know that they are absolutely empty. If they are not, take them to a facility that allows you to drop off aerosol cans.
Fuel and Oil
If you have fuel, oil, or other fluids from your vehicle that you want to get rid of, do not just pour them down the drain or wash them into the gutters. Instead, take them to a place that accepts hazardous materials so they can be properly disposed of.