While the vast majority of waste that comes out of your home can go directly in your garbage bin, there are a few items that you will need to be careful with. Putting hazardous waste in your trash can is very bad for the environment, and you could end up receiving huge fines if those materials aren’t properly disposed of.
For many years, families were told to flush all of their old medications down the toilet, but you should check the FDA’s flush list before you get rid of any drugs. Most low-risk drugs can be sealed in a plastic bag and placed in the trash can. You will also need to scratch off all of your personal information from the medication bottles before you toss those items. For high-risk drugs such as opiates, you should head to a local pharmacy that has a drug disposal bin.
The easiest and safest way to get rid of old batteries is to contact a local company that offers battery recycling services. Batteries are filled with chemicals that are very harmful to the environment, and that is why they must never be placed with your regular trash. At a battery recycling center, specialists will be able to disassemble the batteries and reuse many of the primary components. They can also safely dispose of the toxic liquids.
If you have an old computer that still works, then you should consider wiping it and selling it to a private party. While computer recycling is more advanced than ever, some computer parts can’t be reused, and those objects could end up at a local landfill. For a completely damaged computer, you might be able to recycle it at a local electronics store.
Old Paint Cans
When it comes time to clean out your garage or shed, you are probably going to find at least a few old paint cans. Paint is much safer than it used to be, but it could still contain a few harmful toxins. To safely dispose of old paint cans, you must open the tops and let the liquid completely harden for a few days. Once it has solidified, the paint cans can be thrown in the trash.
If you believe that an object might be hazardous and you don’t know how to dispose of it, then you need to contact your local waste removal company. That company should be able to provide you with a list of instructions on how to deal with all hazardous materials.
- Meghan Belnap is the author of this post.