Household Hazardous Waste

 

While most household waste can be safely stored and disposed of by simply taking out the garbage, hazardous waste must be treated differently. Certain products cannot simply be poured down the drain, into sewer systems, or on the ground. Proper disposal not only protects the environment, but it also protects you, your family, and anyone coming into contact with this waste. 

How to Handle Household Hazardous Waste Properly

The first essential tip starts with following the instructions on the product label. By meeting the requirements listed, you can help prevent any accidents from occurring. This includes reading the instructions as to the disposal of the product itself. 

Many chemicals that are improperly handled may become dangerous when mixed with other chemicals, exposed to the skin, or inhaled into the lungs. Chemicals that are flammable not only may catch on fire but explode and cause considerable damage and injury. The product label should inform you what to do with hazardous materials once you no longer have need of them. 

It is recommended that you store chemicals in their original containers whenever possible. If the container is corroding, then you may want to call the local fire department or hazardous materials official in your area. You also never want to mix hazardous waste with other chemicals. If you have leftover chemicals, it may be tempting to mix them with other unwanted chemicals or products so they can be disposed of together. However, the mixture may cause additional issues such as explosions, fire, or other serious problems. 

Most communities have designated sites for the proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Check to see where your local designated site is located and what materials they accept. 

Reducing Household Hazardous Waste in Your Home

Instead of purchasing potentially dangerous products, you can instead use alternatives where available. Here’s a short list of alternatives that are safe to use, store, and dispose of when no longer needed: 

  • Drain Cleaner: Plumber’s snake or plunger 
  • Furniture Polish: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one pint of vegetable oil 
  • Glass Cleaner: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with one quart of water
  • Mothballs: Cedar chips, rosemary, or white peppercorns
  • Rug Deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda and vacuum after 15 minutes

Why Choose Brickley Environmental? 

If you have questions about the proper use, storage, and disposal of household hazardous waste, call the experts at Brickley Environmental. Your call will be answered by friendly, courteous staff who will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide the proper guidance so you can make the best-informed decision.

At Brickley Environmental, we work with people who have the same issues that you are facing with hazardous household waste including its proper disposal. We also provide expert services in asbestos abatement, lead-based paint removal, mold remediation, demolition, and more. Call today and find out more about how Brickley Environmental can help you. 

For more information about properly disposing of hazardous waste, click here to visit the EPA website.

Home Chemical Safety Tips

You may be surprised to learn just how many hazardous chemicals are in your home. This is because many chemicals are used for cleaning, providing anti-freeze or brake fluid for your vehicles, and even nail polish remover or contact cement. There are four basic types of substances that are harmful to you, your family, and pets that may be in your home.

  • Acidic: They destroy materials on contact
  • Explosive: Under the right conditions, they can explode
  • Flammable: Easy to set aflame
  • Poisons: These are toxic if consumed

For the most part, harmful chemicals are marked as such for easy identification. You will need to treat such chemicals differently in terms of use and storage compared to harmless materials.

Storage

Proper storage of harmful chemicals will go a long way to prevent accidents from occurring. What follows are a few tips if you have such chemicals in the home.

Follow Instructions: Proper use of harmful chemicals will minimize exposure to you and everyone else in the household. With insecticides, be sure to clear the area and let the product fully dry before letting children and pets back in.

Keep All Harmful Chemicals Out of Reach of Children and Pets: In other words, store such chemicals high on a shelf and not in a cabinet. Remember that locked cabinets are still not 100% and you may forget to shut the door. But keeping them out of reach will prevent almost all accidents from occurring.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keeping them stored at room temperature and normal humidity conditions will not keep potentially explosive chemicals from becoming unstable. It will also preserve their effectiveness for longer periods.

Toss Out Old, Unused Chemicals: Every so often, you will want to remove old chemicals that are no longer used. While some may not have an expiration date, in many cases they will break down over time.

What to Do in an Emergency

Even the best plans may not prevent the accidental consumption of a toxic chemical or medication. You should have the emergency number handy and a bottle of ipecac. Ipecac is a chemical which causes a person to throw up the contents of their stomach. However, you should only use ipecac when instructed by a poison control center.

If you believe that your home may have harmful chemicals that you want safely disposed, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental can help.

Call Brickley Environmental Today

The knowledgeable, experienced professionals at Brickley Environmental can provide you with proper guidance when it comes to chemical exposure in the home. Our trained staff will listen to you, ask questions to fully understand the situation, and set an appointment to inspect the issue in your home. We also offer sound advice on how to properly store and dispose of household chemicals to minimize your concerns. Call today and let our professionals provide the guidance you need to identify and remove unwanted chemicals from your residence.

Keeping Your Home Healthy and Safe

Being together in one home is what families are all about. However, with so much time being spent indoors, the chances of an accident occurring become greater. Children and older adults are especially vulnerable in terms of becoming injured due to the many hazards that may be present inside the home. 

Health Concerns

A home is a place where several hazards may exist. Identifying such issues means recognizing the following potential hazards in the home which may include the following. 

  • Lead-based paint
  • Water leaks
  • Electrical issues 
  • Mold infestation 
  • Gas appliances that malfunction 
  • Improper storage of poisons and pesticides and more 

Children may be particularly vulnerable to small items such as toys that are left out as choking hazards. Plus, older adults are more vulnerable to falling, both in terms of losing their balance and suffering injuries to a far greater extent compared to children and adults. 

How to Maintain Safety in the Home

The good news for homeowners is that there are simple things you can do to promote safety inside your residence while reducing the dangers that may be present. 

  • Clean on a regular schedule
  • Maintain good ventilation inside the home
  • Remove pests and contaminants
  • Dry surfaces quickly 
  • Identify dangerous areas 

Such dangerous areas may include stairs that have no handrails, bathrooms and kitchens with slick floors, rugs that are not secure, electrical wiring that may be aging, and the like. A good place to start is with a simple inspection that may include the following. 

  • Small items on the floor such as toys
  • Checking electrical outlets
  • Securing rugs and identifying issues with carpeting 
  • Removing glare from floors and more 

In homes that were constructed before the mid-1970s, you will want to check for possible lead-based paint, lead pipes, and the presence of asbestos inside the home. Although the risk may seem minimal, many older homes still have lead-based paint on the walls which presents a real hazard, especially to children. In most cases, you should be able to address the common health and safety concerns inside your home. 

However, there are some health and safety issues that may require a professional company for assistance. From installing handrails to identifying source of mold to removing contamination, a company such as Brickley Environmental may be of considerable assistance. 

Why Choose Brickley Environmental?

To make your home healthier and safe, the professionals at Brickley Environmental can help. Offering their knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to create a safer living environment, Brickley Environmental provides you with peace of mind when it comes to safety concerns about your living conditions. 

When you call, our courteous, friendly staff will answer, listen to your needs, explain our services, and answer your questions about improving home safety. A representative may be sent upon your request to inspect your home and make recommendations. If you accept, our team of experts will make the changes necessary in a prompt, professional manner. Call today to find out more about the services provided by Brickley Environmental. 

Why Electronic Waste is Becoming a Big Concern

The high demand for the latest electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices, has created an enormous amount of electronic waste, or e-waste, around the world. Given how quickly new and improved devices are on the market, it means even more devices are now outdated and considered somewhat useless in most cases.

The result is a build-up of electronic waste that in some countries is reaching alarming proportions. In India, for example, the country has quickly become the fifth largest generator of e-waste in the world. This is because of a massive effort starting in the 1990s to modernize the country. This resulted in many industries, particularly the telecom sector, to start using modern equipment.

However, this growth has resulted in a large amount of old, outdated technology being thrown out. While the telecom industry is the major contributor, the citizens of India are not far behind as they tend to dispose of their mobile devices every two years. Only recently has the government of India started work towards addressing the e-waste issue.

Recycling Efforts

Currently, the worldwide rate of recycling electronic waste is roughly 20 percent. In India, the number is an astounding 1.5 percent. This has resulted in a massive e-waste build-up that is only now being addressed. Even though some sectors of the country have started recycling programs, many citizens are ill-informed about the purpose of the recycling centers and bring their standard waste or garbage to the recycling locations in addition to their e-waste.

The traditional disposal methods do not work well for e-waste, which tends to pollute the water that runs from and under the landfills. The elements inside the electronic waste infect the soil and make it unfit for cultivation. Plus, many electronic devices contain cadmium, lead, and mercury, which poison the body and cause damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, nervous system, bones, and brain.

Although there are challenges in India, there is also hope. The combination of private and public entities are starting to form around establishing recycling centers and educating the public. However, the conditions that exist in India have quickly become problematic for many developing countries around the world.

While the US and many European nations have recycling programs in place, developing countries that are now turning to new technologies are facing challenges on how to properly recycle or dispose of the building e-waste problem.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If your business has old electronic devices, such as outdated computers or tablets, and would like to get rid of them, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Our experienced staff will listen to your needs and provide the personnel, tools, and equipment to act. We can remove large amounts of e-waste from your office or facility quickly and safely

Hazardous Waste in the Workplace

One of the more serious conditions that business owners face is the presence of hazardous waste in the workplace. If hazardous waste is present, employers must have it removed in a prompt, safe manner which limits exposure to employees. Most businesses have a system in place that processes the removal of hazardous waste. However, there may be circumstances in which some waste is unaccounted for or is present but not readily detected.

Discovery of Hazardous Waste

A business can find itself with hazardous waste on their property for a variety of reasons. One of the more common is when a business purchases the property without the full knowledge of what might be present. Another is older waste that was stored and either forgotten or overlooked when new procedures were introduced. In either situation, the waste can go unaddressed for years.

Whatever the case, it pays for any business that might not have full records of the previous ownership or might have overlooked hazardous waste that was stored on the site to do a full investigation to see if it is present. If hazardous waste is discovered, the company can properly dispose of it with professional assistance.

Worker’s Rights & OSHA

Under OSHA, employees have rights when it comes to the presence of hazardous waste on the property. OSHA oversees all businesses that have hazardous waste present, so there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. Because employees have a right to a safe workplace, the removal of the hazardous waste becomes paramount. There are three steps required by OSHA: identification, information and removal.

Identification: The first step is the proper identification of the waste material and whether it qualifies as hazardous under OSHA rules. Once that is determined, the waste must be removed according to schedule.

Information: Workers do have rights when it comes to keeping their workplace safe, which means that they can file a complaint with OSHA if there is hazardous waste present that is not scheduled for removal and it presents a danger to the employees. Compliance with all rules and regulations concerning hazardous waste must be observed.

Removal: At this point, the hazardous waste must be removed from the property according to OSHA rules. Plus, any complaints that your employees have filed with OSHA regarding the presence of the hazardous waste must be addressed as well. Once it is removed the area where it was kept will be inspected to ensure that any residue is cleaned up so that it does not present a danger.

Once all hazardous waste has been dealt with accordingly, practices should be put into place to ensure that waste oversite does not happen again.

If you think you may have hazardous waste in the workplace, call the professionals as Brickley Environmental. They can provide the services you need to inspect, evaluate, and remove the waste from your property in a prompt, professional manner.